Savannah by the Squares


Published:

Neatly arrayed on a grid system, Savannah’s Historic Landmark District promises a clean elegance befitting the classic Southern city. What really gives downtown Savannah its timeless charm, however, is the preservation of enchanting squares interspersed among its many historic homes, churches, museums and businesses. 

Out of the original 24 squares designed between 1773 and 1851 as the city expanded, 22 remain as scenic respites from the city and testaments to Savannah’s rich colonial heritage. Here’s a quick run down of what you’ll find in each square: 

Calhoun Square, located on Abercorn and Wayne Streets, is the only square surrounded entirely by the same historic buildings that were present when it was designed. This square is also infamously built over a slave burial ground, making it an easy feature for Savannah’s plethora of Ghost Tours. 

Like Chatham County, Chatham Square on Barnard and Wayne Streets is the namesake of the Earl of Chatham, who supported the colony but never actually visited. 

Chippewa Square, which you’ll find on Bull and McDonough Streets, is home to a bronze statue of the colony’s founder, James Oglethorpe, brandishing his sword towards the south to protect against the Spaniards occupying Florida. Fun fact: this square was also the site of the Forrest Gumpbench. 

Columbia Square on Habersham and Presidents Streets is home to a fountain originally from the historic Wormsloe plantation, elaborately decorated with forest motifs.  

A family friendly affair, Crawford Square is on East Hull and Houston Streets, featuring a park-like atmosphere with a playground, basketball court and gazebo.  

Ellis Square was once known as Marketplace Square due to its proximity to City Market on Bryan and Barnard Streets, but was raised in 1954 to give way to a parking deck. Luckily, when the lease expired in 2004 the land was reclaimed and Ellis Square was reborn as a contemporary addition to the Savannah aesthetic, featuring a statue of Johnny Mercer, the Savannahian singer and songwriter. 

Franklin Square, on Bryan and Barnard Streets, was once home to the city’s principal water tower, earning it titles such as “Water Tower Square,” and is now host to a monument to the Haitian volunteers who fought on behalf of America during the Siege of Savannah.

Greene Square, located on Houston and President Streets, is famous for being the site where Union General William Sherman announced “40 acres and a mule,” granting land and livelihood to all formerly enslaved African Americans.   

The first of all Savannah’s squares, Johnson Square is a memorial to General Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War hero who is interred beneath the square that hosts his monument. Located on Bull and St. Julian Streets, Johnson Square was a commercial hub in the colonial days, and continues to be the center of Historic Savannah’s financial district. One thing you won’t find on this square is Spanish Moss, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that General Greene had a profound hatred for the stuff. 

Lafayette Square on Abercorn and Macon Streets is the one whose fountain you will most certainly found dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Madison Square at the crossing of Bull and Macon Streets has a monument honoring William Jasper, a sergeant who died during the Siege of Savannah. It is also home to the stone marker where the colonists held back the British line of defense. 

Monterey Square on Bull and Wayne Streets is home to the Casimir Pulaski monument, and they the unidentified body buried beneath might belong to this polish noble who perished during the Siege. 

In Oglethorpe Square you’ll find a marker dedicated to Moravian missionaries who came to Savannah in 1735 tucked right at the crossing of Abercorn and Presidents Streets.

If you are of German heritage, you might want to check out Orleans Square on Barnard and McDonough Streets, where there is a fountain honoring the contributions German immigrants have made to Savannah’s development. 

While his monument is not in this square (see Monterey Square) Pulaski Square is another testament to Casimir Pulaski, located on Barnard and Macon Streets. 

Reynolds Square is notable for its monument honoring John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. In this square on Abercorn and St. Julian Streets, Wesley is depicting preaching to Native Americans, which was a unheard of at the time.

Originally St. James Square, Telfair Square on Barnard and President Streets was renamed after the Telfair family, whose home and faces the square, along with the Jepson Center. This is also the square to see if you’re looking for tributes to Girl Scouts and its Savannahian founder, Juliette Gordon Low. 

Troup Square is a doggy friendly stop at the crossing of Habersham and McDonough Streets, featuring the Myers Drinking Fountain for canines. It is also home to the Armillary Sphere, if you’re into celestial circles. 

Warren Square on Habersham and St. Julian Streets is a commemoration of the pivotal relationship between Boston and Savannah during the Revolutionary War. 

Housed at the crossing of Houston and St. Julian Streets, Washington Square was the site of the colonial Trustees Garden, where settlers experimented with growing what they hoped would turn into cash crops. They unfortunately reaped a lot of disappointment. 

Whitefield Square was the last to be constructed, and its gazebo is a testament to the Victorian architecture surrounding it on Habersham and Wayne Streets.

Wright Square, nestled at the cross of Bull and President Streets, is one of Savannah’s most renowned squares. As the burial site of Tomochichi, a leader of the Creek Nation Tribe, the square originally hosted a monument dedicated to his generosity towards James Oglethorpe and the colonists. It was torn down however, when locals elected to honor Savannahian William Washington Gordon with the central statue. Ironically, Gordon’s widow was pretty insulted by the slight to Tomochichi, and she led the initiative to erect another granite monument in his name. If you run in circles around it, Tomochichi will trip you. 

We’ll leave some of the history for you to read on your own as you stroll through the hostess city’s gorgeous Historic Landmark District. 

What’s your favorite Savannah square and why? Please share in the comments below! 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

South's Greatest Chefs 2020

Our 14th annual contest is back! Nominate your favorite chef (or yourself) for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!

South's Greatest Pets 2020

South magazine is seeking the greatest pets of the South! Nominate your pet NOW through June 17th at midnight!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • A Savannah Scavenger Hunt: Historic Savannah Adventure

    Feb 19, 2020
    8:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah

    Explore beautiful Savannah. Steeped in Civil War history, you will be sure to find some new-to-you spots. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a...

  • #iSPYtogether Summer Challenge

    Jun 01, 2020
    12:00 AM - 11:45 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    We’re in this together! We’re experiencing a shift in the world together, and together we can keep each other healthy and connected in the...

  • The Society of Bluffton Artists(SOBA) 2020 Summer Art Camp

    Jun 22, 2020
    All Day @ Society of Bluffton Artists

    The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA)’s 2020 Summer Art Camp for kids is now taking registrations. The art camp runs from 9-11 a.m....

  • Free Fort Pulaski Days

    Jan 20, 2020
    All Day @ Fort Pulaski National Monhument

    Fort Pulaski National Monument will have six entrance fee-free days in 2020. The dates for 2020 are: ● Monday, January 20 – Martin...

  • Prohibition Cocktail Classes

    Jun 22, 2020
    6:00 PM @ American Prohibition Museum

    Monday & Tuesday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Prohibition Cocktail Classes at Congress Street Up inside the American Prohibition Museum....

  • Libertea High Tea

    Jun 24, 2020
    10:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Savannah Coffee Roasters

    Wednesdays and Saturdays: Sit back and relax around the open fire and enjoy delicious pastries, cakes, chocolates and savory delights from our...

  • Afternoons at the Aquarium

    Jun 25, 2020
    All Day @ UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium

    Every Thursday in June and July, marine educators at the UGA Aquarium will host virtual programs designed to inspire wonder and curiosity about the...

  • On the Spot Murder Mystery Show

    Jun 26, 2020
    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ Savannah Coffee Roasters

    On The Spot Murder Mystery Dinner Show hosted by The Odd Lot Improv Team at Savannah Coffee Roasters, 6:30 p.m. An entirely improvised...

  • Puppy Yoga Time

    Jul 18, 2020
    All Day @ Ghost Coast Distillery

    Join Coastal Pet Rescue and Christine Graeber at Ghost Coast Distillery for another round of fun! Seriously though, cute...

  • Girl Scout QuestFest

    Jul 18, 2020
    All Day @ Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia

    This year's QuestFest will be a virtual scavenger hunt! Both competitive and noncompetitive teams are searching for experiences, not items....

  • Walk with the Turtles: Ossabaw Island

    Jul 20, 2020
    8:00 AM - 2:00 AM @ Delegal Creek Marina Skidaway Island

    Depart 8:00 am from Delegal Creek Marina on Skidaway Island, just outside of Savannah. After a 30-minute boat ride across Ossabaw Sound, arrive on...

  • Meet Our Fleet: Virtual Tour of UGA Aquarium

    Jul 21, 2020
    All Day

    All aboard! Join us for a virtual tour of the UGA aquarium’s fleet of educational and research vessels with boat captains Todd Recicar...

  • Savannah Carnaval

    Jul 25, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Carnaval

      Our Savannah Carnaval event is back for its second annual Brazil-inspired event! Jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, dance beats from,...

  • Savannah Chamber Business on the Move

    Jul 28, 2020
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ The Broughton Hotel

    Join the Chamber for Business on the Move this month at The Drayton Hotel! Bring your business cards to this after-work networking gathering...

  • Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In

    Jul 30, 2020
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    Enjoy three fun-filled days of good ole mountain hillbilly fun. See a Pioneer village, real moonshine still in the works, mountain crafts, and...

  • First Fridays in Starland

    Jun 26, 2020
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Starland District

     Monthly arts event in Savannah’s Starland District, with street fair, art market or gallery shows. Starland doesn’t like to...

  • Umphrey's McGee Summer Tour 2020

    Aug 07, 2020
    All Day @ Johnny Mercer Theatre

    Umphrey’s McGee Summer Tour will be making at stop at the Johnny Mercer Theatre on Friday, August 7th at 8:00pm. The music of...

  • Meet the Author: In the Cauldron

    Aug 08, 2020
    All Day @ Museum of the Might Eighth Air Force

    This is not just another book about Pearl Harbor. It is the story of Joseph Grew, America’s ambassador to Japan, and his frantic effort in...

  • Georgia Mountain Fair

    Aug 14, 2020
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    Look forward to the 70th annual Georgia Mountain Fair, held at the historic Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds this summer! Thousands of visitors from...

  • Tedeschi Trucks Band Signs 2020 Tour

    Aug 14, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Civic Center

    The Tedeschi Trucks Band Signs 2020 Tour will be making at stop at the Johnny Mercer Theatre on Friday, August 14th at 7:30pm. Tedeschi Trucks...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Danny Merritt 2020 Election Watch Party

Danny Merritt held his election watch party at Coach's Corner in Savannah, Georgia on Tuesday, June 9th. Merritt ran for Congress for District 1 against incumbent Buddy Carter.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.