The opportunity to resurrect a Savannah landmark, while creating an environment as colorful and quirky as the gentlemen who once resided here, has truly been an unexpected, yet beautiful blessing in my life.
There is no greater gift than the gift of giving back to others, as validated by the gentleman's portrait hanging above our mantle, in the very spot it hung so many years ago. Without Percival Randolph Cohen's generosity, "The Cohen's Old Man's Retreat" estate building would not exist. While his financial gifts provided funding for construction of the building in the early 1930s, his gift of compassion for others also continues to touch our hearts today.
Today, Percy Cohen's name remains on the estate building as a respectful tribute to the gentleman who made the building's construction possible. However, the vision and mission for our modernized version of Cohen's Retreat has been immensely influenced by the dynamic matriarch of Ossabaw Island, Elanor "Sandy" Torrey West.
Created in the 1970s and located on Ossabaw Island, the basis of Sandy's creative retreat, otherwise known as "Genesis" was to provide people a place to meet other interesting people. In the words of Sandy, "when you bring creative souls together, something magical is revealed".
Fast forward several decades, while many names and faces have changed, the fundamental concept of giving back to others remains the same. Inspired by Percy Cohen's Generosity, Sandy's legacy for creativity, and influenced by my own cherished childhood memories of the building, Cohen's Retreat has been lovingly restored as a creative destination for art, food and community.
Allowing time, space and creativity to guide the way, and lifted up by the love and support of family and friends, a legendary destination has emerged. The reward for our efforts is a unique destination of art, food and community especially designed for the inspiration and enjoyment of others.
On behalf of the best team I could ever dream of being a part of, we invite you to explore creative thoughts and refresh your spirit at Cohen's Retreat. We think Percy and Sandy would be proud to know their legacy continues to inspire our journey. As a matter of fact, take a glance at their portraits the next time you walk by and you just may catch a twinkle in their eye.