Savannah, Georgia’s First City, sits like a jewel just across the broad Savannah River. Historic 18th century garden squares, gourmet restaurants, antique shops and boutiques beckon by day and night. The name conjures images of nights redolent with honeysuckle, warm breezes and the glint of moonlight over the sweeping river and marsh. History, tradition, courtesy and hospitality are at the heart of our Southern culture.
General James Edward Oglethorpe and 120 travelers of the good ship Anne landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River in February 1733. The thirteenth and final American colony Georgia, was named after England’s King George II and Savannah became its first city. Oglethorpe laid the city out in a series of grids that allowed for wide open streets intertwined with shady public squares and parks. Today, the Historic District is a 2.5-mile walking district full of bistros, quaint shops, green squares and grand architecture.
Savannah played an important role in both the American Revolution and the Civil War and its downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. This walking tour of Savannah will begin in one of the best preserved 19th-century railroad complexes in the country, now developed as the hub of the city’s visitor services...
Down Freight Warehouse
301 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Today’s Visitor Center is carved from a complex of buildings that once belonged to the Central of Georgia Railway. Regarded as a remarkable design achievement by contemporaries, the complex was planned by William M. Wadley around 1850 and cost more than $500,000. In 1855, a writer for the national journal Colburn’s Railroad Advocate described it as “the most complete and elegant railroad station in the country…” The country’s only intact antebellum railroad complex was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 as “a precedent example of comprehensive industrial planning.”
WALK DOWN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BOULEVARD TOWARDS THE RIVER.
227 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Now Kiah Hall of the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Gray Building is the oldest surviving railroad office building in the United States. It was constructed between 1854 and 1856 as the headquarters for the 1833 Central Rail Road and Banking Company, later called the Central of Georgia Railway. The Gray Building did duty as a train office for over 130 years - the longest run for any railroad building in America.
41 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
This exuberant Greek Revival mansion, built during the 1819 cotton boom for Savannah merchant prince William Scarborough, was designed by English architect William Jay. The house boasts a Doric portico capped by one of Jay’s characteristic half-moon windows. Scarborough was a major investor in the steamship Savannah and today his home hosts the Ships of the Sea Museum, stuffed with models of influential vessels.
Talmadge Memorial Bridge
at Savannah River
The Talmadge Memorial Bridge is a cable-stayed suspension bridge that spans the Savannah River between Savannah, Georgia and South Carolina. The bridge replaced a 37-year old cantilever truss bridge in 1990 and provides 185 feet of clearance into the largest container terminal on the East Coast and America’s fourth busiest seaport. It carries the name of Eugene Talmadge, a Democratic Governor of Georgia from 1933 until 1937 and again from 1941 to 1943.
TURN RIGHT ON BAY STREET.
United States Customs House
1-5 East Bay Street
One of the first things the first United States Congress tackled in 1789 was setting up the Customs Service, the nation’s oldest federal agency. Savannah has had a Customs House since the beginning and this is the town’s third, designed in 1848 by New York architect John S. Norris. Norris remained in Savannah until the outbreak of the Civil War and worked on 18 prominent commission s during his fifteen-year stay. Here Norris contributed a Greek Revival government temple with an emphasis on fireproofing. it took four years to construct and has indeed stood the test of time.
Savannah Cotton Exchange
100 E Bay Street
In 1886 only one seaport in the world was handling more cotton on its docks than Savannah - some two million bales a year. Boston architect William Gibbons Preston won a national design competition with a Romanesque Style brick structure to house the bustling exchange. Look up to see the griffin, a winged lion of mythology, in front, surrounded by an outstanding wrought iron fence with medallions of poets and presidents.
Savannah City Hall
Bay Street and Bull Street
Savannah’s City Hall is sited on Yamacraw Bluff overlooking the Savannah River where General James Oglethorpe landed in 1733. The government first conducted business here in the City Exchange in 1799, side-by-side with the post office and the town’s newspaper office. The building was razed in 1904 and replaced with Savannah’s first building constructed specifically as a City Hall. Local architect Hyman Wallace Witcover did the design honors with a proportional Renaissance Revival plan, working with a budget of $205,167 that included ornate statues of chariots and horses atop the structure that were never built.
Central Railroad & Bank Building
7 East Bay Street
This building was erected in 1853 as headquarters for the Central Railroad & Bank. It was confiscated by General William T. Sherman’s Union Army forces as the military headquarters of the Post commandant, General J.W. Geary during the occupation of Savannah.
101 East Bay Street
Louis Montayne Mowbray and Justin Maximo Uffinger were two of America’s most successful bank architects with over 400 designs to their credit between 1895 and 1930. Here they created a Neoclassical vault for Hibernia Bank in 1912; not the full-height Doric portico.
WALK DOWN TOWARDS THE RIVER.
56 Patton Avenue
A network of iron crosswalks connects Bay Street with the multi-story buildings that rise up from the river level, and iron stairways descend from Bay Street to Factors Walk. The area was originally the center of commerce for cotton brokers, who walked between and above the lower cotton warehouses. The cobblestones used in the ramps were originally carried as ballast in ship’s holds.
River Street is lined by cobblestones with a trolley track imbedded, leading to many nautical-themed shops, candy stores, and art galleries.
TURN RIGHT ON RIVER STREET.
River Street, below Emmet Park
The Waving Girl statue was made in honor of Florence Martus. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Florence greeted the passing ships by waving a cloth during the day; at night she used a lantern. Some people say she wanted to be the first to meet her husband, as he returned to port but it appears she was just sort of lonely. Florence, the sister of the Tybee Island lighthouse keeper, began waving in 1887 when she was 19 years old. She stopped waving in 1931 and legend has it she never missed a ship. She died in 1943 and is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery. The Altrusa Club had the statue, designed by Felix de Weldon, made in her honor in 1972.
CLIMB THE STEPS INTO EMMETT PARK.
Emmett Park, on East Bay Street
The Old Harbor Light, an ornamental cast-iron shaft flanked by several large ship anchors, has stood in Emmet Park since 1858, overlooking the Savannah River and meant to look like a street light. It originally beamed a gas light across the river, serving as a range light to the front light on Fig Island. In its centennial year of 1958 the Trustees Garden Club developed the portion of Emmet Park where the beacon now stands. Years of salty humidity slowly ate away at the 25-foot cast-iron post, and in the late 1990s, the structure required a $200,000 facelift. Old Harbor Light was relit in 2001.
WALK BACK UP EAST BAY STREET AND TURN LEFT ON PRICE STREET. TURN RIGHT ON EAST BRYAN STREET.
John Eppinger House
404 East Bryan Street
This Federal-style frame house was built in 1821-1822 for John Eppinger, a city official. It was moved to this spot from West Perry Street.
WALK WEST TOWARDS REYNOLDS SQUARE.
32 Abercorn Street, south side of Reynolds Square
The Lucas Theatre was a collaboration in 1921 by impresario Arthur Lucas and architect C.K. Howell. Howell designed theaters across the country and Lucas owned more than 20 stages throughout the South, though the Lucas Theatre in Savannah is the only one to bear his name. Built primarily as a movie palace, the theater also incorporated a stage for road shows. Lucas drummed up business by sending birthday cards to Savannah residents with coupons for free admission. He scoured the wedding and birth announcements in the papers and sent his own congratulations in the form of free tickets. His promotional efforts paid off, and for the next 40 years, the Lucas Theatre became a favorite venue for talkies, musicals, traveling troupes, revues and theatricals. With the advent of television and the population shift to the suburbs, the theater era began to wane. The Lucas Theatre closed in 1976 after a deserted screening of The Exorcist. A Savannah citizen’s group began a 14-year, $14 million campaign that culminated in a grand reopening in December 2000.
TURN LEFT ON BATTERY PARK AVENUE.
The Pink House
23 Abercorn Street, west side of Reynolds Square
The Pink House, now a restaurant, is one of the rare Savannah buildings that has its roots in the 1700s. Constructed in 1789 for James A. Habersham, Jr., its pink stucco exterior and dignified classical proportions are still evident despite several makeovers.
Oliver Sturges House
27 Abercorn Street, west side of Reynolds Square
This house was built in 1813 by Oliver Sturges, a prosperous Savannah merchant, on the site of the parsonage of John Wesley, minister of the Church of England in Georgia in 1736 and 1737 and founder of Methodism. Sturges owned 40% of the Savannah, the first steamship ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The Savannah’s historic voyage was hashed out in the Sturges House, which was one of a pair of Federal-style residences located here. Sturges’ partner, Benjamin Burroughs, lived in the other residence, where the John Wesley hotel is presently located.
CONTINUE MOVING WEST ON BRYAN STREET.
15 Drayton Street, northwest corner of Bryan Street
This pioneering high-rise began life in 1895 as the Citizens Bank; today it the Propes Hall of Savannah College of Art and Design. This was the first building in town to be completely fireproof with beams and supports crafted of iron, and the walls and floors sculpted with terra cotta and marble. German-born architect Gottfrid L. Norrman, who was based in Atlanta contributed the Renaissance Revival design.
Savannah Bank & Trust
2-6 East Bryan Street, north side of Johnson Square
This fourteen-story Neoclassical skyscraper from 1911 is another bank from the firm of Mowbray & Uffinger.
Christ Episcopal Church
Bull Street. east side of Johnson Square
James Oglethorpe selected this site for the “Mother Church of Georgia.” This is the third church to stand here, a classic Greek temple design from architect James Hamilton Couper. The first minister to the colonists was the Reverend Dr. Henry Herbert, chaplain on the ship Ann. Later ministers included John Wesley and George Whitefield, a fiery preacher and founder in 1740 of the Bethesda Orphan Home. Other “firsts” at Christ Church include America’s first Sunday School and the first hymnal in English, both credited to John Wesley in 1736.
Nathanael Greene Monument
center of Johnson Square
Johnson Square, named for Robert Johnson, the royal governor of South Carolina, who aided the colony of Georgia when it was being settled, is the oldest known square in Savannah. The Nathaniel Greene Monument honors the second in command to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Designed by architect William Strickland in 1825, the cornerstone was set by the Marquis de Lafayette. The monument is made of white marble and stands 50 feet tall.
7 East Congress Street at Bull Street, south side of Johnson Square
William Lee Stoddart was an architect who built his reputation raising big-city-type hotels in smaller markets. Many times a Stoddart hotel would be the tallest building in town. This ten-story in Stoddart’s favorite Colonial Revival style opened in 1913 as the Hotel Savannah.
CONTINUE ON CONGRESS STREET AND TURN LEFT ON BARNARD STREET.
Telfair Museum of Art
121 Barnard Street, west side of Telfair Square
Brothers Edward and William Telfair set sail from Scotland for the American colonies in 1758. Edward headed for Virginia and William aimed for Savannah. Edward shortly migrated to Savannah as well and the brothers immersed themselves in the mercantile trade. Edward Telfair became one of the most prominent merchants and planters in Georgia and represented the colony in the Continental Congress. After the struggle for independence was achieved he served several years as governor. With the Telfair dynasty established in Savannah, distinguished English architect William Jay designed the family mansion in an elegant Regency Style in 1818. Through the efforts of Mary Telfair, a daughter of Edward who died in 1875 at the age of 84 and never married, the house was converted into the Telfair Museum of Art in 1886. It was the first public art museum in the South.
Trinity Methodist Church
225 W President Street, west side of Telfair Square
Trinity Church is the oldest Methodist Church in a city whose intimate association with John Wesley and George Whitefield makes it a bedrock of Methodism. The cornerstone of the building was laid February 14, 1848. The edifice of Savannah gray brick was completed in 1850, designed by John B. Hogg in a Corinthain style.
WALK EAST ON YORK STREET TO WRIGHT SQUARE.
U.S. Post Office
Wright Square, west side
Despite its bulk this Romanesque Style government building of Georgia marble and granite from 1895 manages to blend with its neighbors despite swallowing an entire city block. The upper floors and central tower harken back to the Italianate influences of a slightly earlier time.
Chatham County Courthouse
124 Bull Street, east side of Wright Square
The Chatham County Courthouse was erected in 1889 based on plans drawn by William G. Preston. Preston used pale yellow brick on the Romanesque government building, the largest commission of his career.
center of Wright Square
This was the second square in Savannah, carved out in 1733 and named for Lord Percival, generally regarded as the man who gave the colony of Georgia its name (a tribute to Great Britain’s King George II). It was renamed in 1763 to honor James Wright, the third, last and perhaps most notable of Georgia’s royal governors. The square is the burial site of Tomochichi, a leader of the Creek Nation and trusted friend of colony founder James Oglethorpe. When Tomochichi died in 1739 Oglethorpe ordered him buried with military honors in the center of Percival Square. In accordance with his people’s customs the grave was marked by a pyramid of stones gathered from the surrounding area. In 1883, citizens wishing to honor William Washington Gordon, founder of Georgia’s first railroad, replaced Tomochichi’s monument with an elaborate and highly allegorical monument to Gordon. William Gordon is thus became the only native Savannahian honored with a monument in one of the city’s squares. Gordon’s own widow objected strongly to this perceived insult to Tomochichi and led a drive to erect a new monument that was erected in 1899. It stands in the southeast corner of the square and eulogizes Tomochichi as a great friend of James Oglethorpe and the people of Georgia.
Lutheran Church of the Ascension
Bull Street, north side of Wright Square
Led by Pastor John Martin Boltzius, Lutherans gathered for the first time on Georgia soil in 1734. George B. Clarke designed this building in Norman and Gothic styles in 1879. Look up to see Ascension’s namesake stained glass window.
Lindsay & Morgan Building
York Street, south side of Wright Square
The Lindsay & Morgan Company sold carpets and home furnishings out of this 1921 brick building, decorated with then-fashionable Art Deco tiles. The land here used to be a burial ground and the upper floors are said to be haunted.
CONTINUE WALKING EAST ON YORK STREET TO OGLETHORPE SQUARE.
124 Abercorn Street, east side of Oglethorpe Square
A commission from wealthy cotton merchant Richard Richardson lured Mrs. Richardson’s brother-in-law, esteemed architect William Jay, from his home in Bath, England to Savannah. Jay arrived just after Christmas in 1817 and stayed in America until 1824. In that time he created several architectural masterpieces and this house is considered the finest example of Regency architecture to survive in the country. Jay used regional tabby, a mixture of oyster shells, sand, water and lime, to craft the first floor. Behind the house is the best preserved stable-slave quarters in the city and its tabby walls are original. The distinctive feature facing out to the square is a delicately undulating front porch. On the side facing President Street, the seemingly weightless portico is supported by leafy consoles constructed of the first cast iron to be seen in Savannah. Miss Meta Thomas, granddaughter of a previous owner, George W. Owens, willed the house to the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences for a house museum.
CONTINUE WALKING EAST ON PRESIDENT STREET TO COLUMBIA SQUARE.
Isaiah Davenport House
324 East State Street, north side of Columbia Square
Master builder Isaiah Davenport emigrated from Rhode Island and in 1818 was elected as a city alderman. He completed this house, 1821, noted for its sweeping double entrance. Long considered the best Federal Style house in Savannah, when it was threatened with demolition in 1955, a group of seven women led a fight to save it, sowing the seeds for the Historic Savannah Foundation and the preservation movement in the city.
William Kehoe House
123 Habersham Street, west side of Columbia Square
William Kehoe sailed from County Wexford, Ireland in 1842 at the age of ten with his mother, father, four brothers and three sisters. Once in America, Kehoe apprenticed in an iron foundry and worked his way up to become a foreman. Eventually he bought the foundry that was then located to the East of Broughton Street. Kehoe married in 1868 and settled on Columbia Square at 130 Habersham Street. By the 1890s he was prosperous enough to construct this grand three-story for $25,000. Architect DeWitt Bruyn teamed the Italianate and Neoclassical styles for the house which stayed in the family until 1930. Over the next 60 years was used as a boarding house, funeral parlor, and for a time was owned by football Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath. Today it operates as a B&B.
WALK SOUTH ON HABERSHAM STREET (away from the river). TURN RIGHT ON EAST OGLETHORPE AVENUE.
Colonial Park Cemetery
121 East Oglethorpe Avenue
The Colonial Park Cemetery, one of Savannah’s most beautiful restorations, was established about 1750 as the original burial ground for the Christ Church Parish. Among those buried here are Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. More than 700 victims of the 1820 Yellow Fever epidemic rest here. There are also many victims of Savannah’s colorful dueling era; Savannah history records the first dueling death in 1740 and the final shot in the name of honor was fired in 1877. Some of the duels were fought in and around Colonial Park Cemetery. The cemetery was already closed to burials before the start of the Civil War and no Confederate soldiers are buried there. But the war did leave its mark on the cemetery. Federal troops took over the cemetery grounds during their occupation of Savannah and many of the graves were looted and desecrated. It has been said that Union soldiers changed the dates on many of the headstones.
Mary Marshall Row
230-244 East Oglethorpe Avenue
These four brick houses were once within hours of being demolished in 1960 for their valuable Savannah grey bricks and marble steps. The carriage houses had already been leveled when four pioneer preservationists - Albert Stoddard, Lee Adler, Karl Roebling and Harry Duncan - moved quickly to buy all four houses, helping to establish the viability of the Historic Savannah Foundation, Inc. One of the early occupants of the newly spared houses was Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Conrad Aiken.
Christian Camphor House
122 East Oglethorpe Avenue
Built between 1760 and 1767, this is thought to be the oldest surviving house in Savannah. The house was raised on its high brick foundation in 1871. The upper story is wood frame and the roof features two dormers on its salt box (plain and gabled) roof. The balcony was remodeled in 1907.
Juliette Gordon Low House
142 Bull Street, northeast corner of East Oglethorpe Avenue
Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts in 1912, was born here on Halloween night in 1860. The elegant town house was built for James Moore Wayne, mayor of Savannah and Supreme Court Justice, who sold it to Juliette’s grandfather, William Washington Gordon, in 1831.
Independent Presbyterian Church
southwest corner of Bull Street and West Oglethorpe Avenue
The original church on this location was designed in 1817 by John Holden Greene, at the time the most famous architect practicing in Rhode Island. When it was rebuilt in 1891 after a fire it is believed that William G. Preston replicated its original design. The Independent Presbyterian Church steeple is the tallest in Savannah.
4 E Oglethorpe Avenue
The Chatham Academy, founded 1788, opened this building in 1901 as Savannah’s only high school.
TURN LEFT ON BULL STREET TO CHIPPEWA SQUARE.
First Baptist Church
223 Bull Street, west side of Chippewa Square
Built in 1833, the First Baptist Church is the oldest house of worship in city. The Greek-style temple is a remodelling done in 1922.
233 Bull Street, west side of Chippewa Square
Construction of this Italianate house was begun for jeweler Moses Eastman in 1844 and completed for planter John Stoddard in 1847. The building’s third story is a 20th century addition as it has spent much of the past 100 years as commercial property.
14 W Hull Street, northwest side of Chippewa Square
This Victorian Gothic with a prominent oriel window was designed for Honoria Foley in 1896 by Henry Urban. She was a rich widow and constructed the house, which she operated as an inn, on the ashes of one of the many houses that burned in the Great Savannah Fire of 1889. During a 1980s renovation skeletal remains believed to be a fire victim were unearthed and the house is considered haunted.
222 Bull Street, east side of Chippewa Square
William Jay designed a theater for this location in 1820. A fire in 1948 led to the current Art Deco incarnation.
James Oglethorpe Statue
center of Chippewa Square
The depiction of Georgia’s founder James Oglethorpe was created by famous sculptor Daniel Chester French in 1910.
CONTINUE ON BULL STREET TOWARDS MADISON SQUARE.
307-309 Bull Street
This Spanish-Moorish interpretation of the Gothic Revival style was built in 1897 and later housed an early Ford dealership showroom.
6 West Harris Street, north side of Madison Square
Charles Blaney Cluskey, an Irish architect, designed this elegant antebellum Greek Revival dwelling for the Sorrel family in 1848. Notable classical elements include Doric columns, a sweeping double entrance and marble floors. In deference to torrid Savannah summers, Cluskey drew plans for the main floor so that all rooms opened onto a shaded veranda. One distinguished member of the Sorrel family was Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, known as Moxley. Young Moxley was a bank clerk in Savannah when the Civil War began. He fought with the Confederates, served as one of Lee’s lieutenants, was wounded three times and, by age 26, held the rank of brigadier general. Later the house was owned by the Weed family.
14 W Macon Street, west side of Madison Square
John S. Norris designed this medieval Gothic mansion, one of the South’s most distinguished of the genre, for cotton merchant Charles Green. It was the most expensive 19th-century house in Savannah. Union General William Tecumseh Sherman made this his headquarters when Savannah surrendered during the Civil War. Here he learned that his seventh child, whom he had never seen, had died of pneumonia. Sherman sent the following telegram to President Abraham Lincoln in December, 1864: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah...” A later owner was Judge Peter Meldrim, mayor of Savannah. The house became a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
St. Johns Episcopal Church
329 Bull Street, west side of Madison Square
Calvin Otis came from Buffalo in 1851 to supervise construction of this Gothic Revival church he designed. Church records show that he was paid $100 for drawing the plans; his total fee came to $400 for the $16,000 church. The tall, wooden steeple chimes were spared due to a special plea to President Abraham Lincoln during the Union Army occupation of the city during the Civil War.
Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory
southeast corner of Bull Street and Charlton Street, south side of Madison Square
This Romanesque red brick and molded terra cotta fortress was built as the Savannah Volunteer Guards Armory in 1893. In 1979, the Savannah College of Art and Design opened in this building, the first of dozens it has renovated and utilized throughout downtown Savannah.
341 Bull Street, south side of Madison Square
The Masonic Temple, with elaborate cornice and ornamental pilasters, was erected in 1912 for the world’s oldest fraternal organization. The Masons history in Georgia is about as old as the state itself - Freemason James Oglethorpe set up the first lodge in 1734. Another Freemason, Hyman W. Witcover, provided the ornate design. Look up to Masonic symbols on the building.
Andrew Low House
329 Abercorn Street, west side of Lafayette Square
John Norris, among the most influential of Savannah’s architects, designed this house for wealthy cotton factor Andrew Low in 1847. Low was generally regarded as the richest man in the city, shipping millions of dollars of cotton annually to Liverpool, England. He lived in the brick house, covered in stucco, until his death in 1886.
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
northeast corner of Abercorn Street and East Harris Street, north side of Lafayette Street
The twin spires with chiming bells of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist can be seen across the city. This, the oldest Catholic church in Georgia, is an 1898 rebuild of the 1876 French Gothic original. The interior is rich with Italian marble, stained glass imported from Innsbruck, Austria and opulent Persian rugs.
330 Abercorn Street, east side of Lafayette Square
Commissioned by Samuel P. Hamilton in 1873, the mansard-roofed mansion is the best example of the French-inspired Second Empire style in Savannah. The exterior brick was later covered with stucco.
Flannery O’Connor House
207 E. Charlton Street, south side of Lafayette Square
This three-story house once was home to Edward and Regina O’Connor, whose only child, Mary Flannery, dropped the Mary in college and became famous as one of this country’s outstanding authors. Flannery at age six was seen in a national newscast with her pet chicken, which she had trained to walk backward. She died in 1964 of lupus erythematosus, the same disease that had claimed her father in 1941. Her childhood home is now a house museum where readings of her work are presented regularly.
119 E. Charlton Street, south side of Lafayette Square.
William Battersby built this brick house in 1852 in a style more typically seen in Charleston but rare in Savannah. The front door opens onto a two-story side porch, or veranda, rather than the street. The original garden plan has been preserved in the walled “parterre” garden with paths, beds and hedges that form a pattern.
WALK SOUTH ON ABERCORN STREET (away from the river).
404 Abercorn Street
Clary’s Cafe, a Savannah breakfast institution, was featured in Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.
TURN RIGHT ON EAST TAYLOR STREET AND WALK TO MONTEREY SQUARE.
Temple Mickve Israel
20 East Gordon Street, east side of Monterey Square
The Temple Mickve Israel is a rare Gothic synagogue for one of oldest congregations inthe south, and the third oldest in the nation. Its first members included the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish settlers who came to Georgia aboard the William and Sarah just a few months after James Oglethorpe. Congregation Mickve Israel received a perpetual charter from Governor Edward Telfair in 1790; this building was consecrated in 1878.
429 Bull Street, west side of Monterey Square
The Mercer House was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer, great grandfather of composer Johnny Mercer. Construction of the house began in 1860, was interrupted by the Civil War and when General Mercer returned to Savannah he sold the unfinished house. No member of the Mercer family ever lived here but the house became famous nonetheless as home to Jim Williams, the subject of John Berendt’s best-selling book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
425 Bull Street, west side of Monterey Square
These identical homes were built for twins Emma and Lee Adler by their father.
WALK SOUTH ON BULL STREET (away from the river) TO FORSYTH PARK.
between Drayton and Whitaker streets
The park was created in the 1840s on 10 acres of land donated by William Hodgson. In 1851, the park was expanded and named for then governor, John Forsyth. Standing in the middle of Forsyth Park with the pathway wrapping around it lies the Confederate Monument. The sandstone pyramid stands with a bronze Confederate soldier on its top. Surrounding the base are memorial busts of General Lafayette McLaws and Brigadier General Francis S. Bartow, both from Savannah. The fountain at the north end of the park was added in 1858 and is reminiscent of hydrospectaculars in the Place de la Concorde in Paris and in Cuzco, Peru.
WALK WEST ON GASTON STREET AND TURN RIGHT ON BARNARD STREET.
Chatham Square was one of the last squares erected in Savannah in 1847. Named for William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham.
Laid out in 1837, Pulaski Square honors Revolutionary War Hero Count Pulaski, who was the highest ranking foreign soldier to die during the American Revolution.
TURN LEFT ON LIBERTY STREET TO RETURN TO THE TOUR STARTING POINT AT THE VISITOR CENTER ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BOULEVARD.