Chatham Square: The ironwork and unique doorways of
Gordon Row, fifteen identical townhouses located along the
square, are worth a stop.
Monterey Square: The Mercer House, an Italianate mansion built for Civil War General Hugh W. Mercer (
great-grandfather of composer Johnny Mercer), can be found
here. Considered one of Savannah’s most beautiful buildings, it is the setting for the murder in John Berendt’s novel
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. A statue of Cas-mir Pulaski stands at the center of the square.
Whitefield Square: With its lovely white gazebo, Whitefield
Square has been the site of countless wedding ceremonies.
Pulaski Square: One of the few squares without a monument, it is home to some of the most beautiful live oaks
Madison Square: Here you’ll see vintage cannons from
the old Savannah Armory. The Savannah College of Art
and Design originally opened on Madison Square. On
the northeast corner of the square sits E. Shaver, Savannah’s oldest bookseller. Owner Esther Shaver presides over
twelve quiet, quaint rooms of books noted for specialties
in regional history and architecture, decorative arts and
children’s books, as well as vintage maps. Note: After thirty-seven years, E. Shaver is up for sale. Esther says it will go
not for the right price, but to the right person, someone
who can keep the tradition going.
Troup Square: This is one of the most picturesque squares
in the historic district, featuring an armillary, an astronomical centerpiece made of iron and supported by small
Orleans Square: Near the Savannah Civic Center, this
square sports beautiful red tulips every spring, and a bubbling fountain all year long.
Chippewa Square: Named in honor of the American victory in the Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812, this
is the square where Forrest Gump’s bench is located.
Between Chippewa and Crawford Squares lies Colonial
Park Cemetery, final resting place of victims of the 1820
Yellow Fever epidemic. It is a popular spot for local ghost
Telfair Square: The Telfair Museum of Art, the oldest art
museum in the South, is on this square. The museum
houses the largest public collection of the paintings of
Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet.
Wright Square: This is the final resting place of Tomochi-chi, the Native American leader who helped General James
Oglethorpe establish the colony of Georgia.
Oglethorpe Square: The Owens-Thomas House, one of the
finest examples of English Regency architecture in America,
is located here.
Columbia Square: A favorite stop for Savannahians, this
square is a tranquil spot away from the noise and activity
of downtown Savannah.
Ellis Square: The original City Market was housed here in
a brick building built in the 1850s and demolished in 1954
to build a parking lot. Today, a revived City Market building hosts shops and art galleries.
Johnson Square: The first and largest square in Savannah,
it is home to a white marble bench honoring native Savan-nahian Johnny Mercer. There are two fountains, making
this an especially cool oasis on hot days.
Washington Square: This is the northeasternmost square
in the city.
Forsyth Park, while not a square, is the queen of green
spaces to be enjoyed in Savannah. The view down Bull
Street, under an avenue of trees, to the magnificent fountain at the north end of the park, is one of the most unforgettable and breathtaking sights in Savannah. The fountain,
modeled after a water attraction in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, was installed in 1858. Forsyth Park covers
30 acres of green space to be enjoyed by all. The Savannah
Sidewalk Arts Festival is held on the walkways of Forsyth
Park every April, this year on April 26th. SCAD students
and alumni are given chalk and a square of sidewalk, and
let loose to produce art. The results are nothing short of
astounding. Picture-taking is permitted!
So, that’s your invitation to explore the historic squares
of Savannah and their neighborhoods. They offer up their
ethereal, historic, beauty to you at every turn, with a few
surprises along the way. I-L