You can’t take a stroll through downtown Savannah without passing through some of the 22 squares, which were quite lively back in the days of old. Each of these squares was built at the center of a “Ward” to be gathering places where the community could come together for activities, celebrations, and protection.
One of the last squares to be established in 1851 - Whitefield Square – was in the center of “Wesley Ward,” named for John Wesley, who is often referred to as the father of Methodism. As is quite customary for Savannah, several of the named monuments are located in different squares. (In this case, the monument for John Wesley can be found in Reynolds Square.) The square itself was named after an early minister, the Reverend George Whitefield, who founded the Bethesda Orphanage in 1740, which is still in operation today as the Bethesda Home for Boys.
While Whitefield Square might be one of the lesser known squares, it might also be one of the most beautiful.
Located on Habersham between Taylor and Gordon Streets, just one block south of Gaston, its standout feature is the beautiful gingerbread style gazebo in the middle of the square. Shaded by the age old trees, with an occasional gentle
breeze, it’s a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon getting lost in a book, flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine, or getting away for a lunch break. Most of the houses surrounding the square were built after the Civil War in the Victorian style and it shows in the architectural details of big porches, wrap around balconies, gothic windows, and turrets. You’ll also find the First Congregational Church on this square that was built in the late 1800’s.
It will take the afternoon to meander through all of Savannah’s squares, but it’s definitely worth it. So grab a drink to go and enjoy a leisurly stroll through the squares.