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Reynolds Square

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At the top of Abercorn Street is Reynolds Square, originally laid out in 1734 as Lower New Square, but renamed in honor of the Royal Governor John Reynolds.

John Wesley

A stern statue of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, dominates the center of the square. The British preacher arrived in Savannah on an invitation from Oglethorpe, to be the new city’s religious leader. He soon found himself in trouble, involving himself romantically with a young woman, only to later refuse her communion after their affair came to an end. She brought suit against him, but he fled to Britain and never returned to Georgia. The statue strikes an imposing figure, with Wesley forcefully clenching a Bible that looks small in his over-sized hands. He looks like the jerk he probably was.

The northeast trust lot of Reynolds Square was originally home to the colonial filature, where silk from the experimental Trustees Garden was be spun. The garden’s planters spent a lot of time in around Reynolds Square, and the names of the surrounding buildings reflect that fact. The Planters Inn is a 200-year old hotel on the southwest side of the square and the tavern on the bottom floor of the Pink House is called Planters Tavern.

We walked about Reynolds Square somewhat wistfully. Three months ago, we’d started with a list of 22 squares to explore and document, and this was the last one. When we’d began this project, I was worried that it would be too repetitive; I mean, how different can twenty-two square-shaped plots of land be? But each of Savannah’s squares has its own personality, from the monumental to the placid, and its own history. It was a true pleasure to get to know each, individually.

Location on our Savannah Map

All 24 Savannah Squares

Reynolds Square Savannah
Reynolds Square
Horse Carriage Tour Savannah
John-Wesley-Statue
Lucas Theater Savannah
Planters Inn Hotel
Christ Church Savannah
Little Boy Sitting
Savannah Monk
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January 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm Comments (2)

Crawford Square

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Laid out in 1841, Crawford is the only of Savannah’s squares with recreational equipment: a basketball court, won by the neighborhood after a 1946 tournament. Found on Houston Street, the square was named after native son William Harris Crawford, who was Secretary of the Treasury and who unsuccessfully ran for President in 1824.

Crawford Sq Gazebo

At one time, all of Savannah’s squares were fenced in, but only Crawford remains so. It’s also retained its cistern, from the days when Savannah’s fire department kept a station in every square. The fence, the cistern and the basketball court give Crawford a unique feel. And with a gazebo in the center and azaleas which explode in bloom during the spring, Crawford definitely manages to charm.

In the days of Jim Crow, when segregation was the law of the land, Crawford was the only square which blacks were permitted to use. It’s a historically black neighborhood, and today a quiet, peaceful one. It’s also the former home of the fabulous Lady Chablis, who lived in a house bordering the square, during her rise to fame.

Location on our Savannah Map

New Savannah Sqaure
New Savannah Sqaure
New Savannah Sqaure
Basket Ball Savannah
Park Closing Times
Savannah NO NO s
Savannah Cistern
Places to Rest
Savannah Ware House
Blossom Savannah
Bushy Palm
Savannah Bling
Crying Star
Row Houses Savannah
Savannah Aloe Vera
Smurf Blood
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January 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm Comment (1)

Inside a Savannah Mansion

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On New Year’s Eve, we were invited into the home of an old-school Savannahian. Our soft-spoken host, Alvin, was a true southern gentleman, as gracious as possible, and both his character and his house seemed to be straight from the pages of some Victorian Gothic novel.

Mysterious Mansion

Alvin’s brick mansion, built in 1887, was in our neighborhood and we had admired it often. So when we were invited inside, we jumped at the chance. Since purchasing the mansion decades ago, Alvin has worked to restore its original elements, decorating it with artwork and period furniture. Jürgen made an appreciative comment about much all this original artwork must have cost, which caused Alvin to laugh. “This is all stuff I get for free!” He pointed to a painting of a dancing jester. “The girl who painted this gave it to me in exchange for a month’s rent.”

The mansion’s architect, William G. Preston, had also been responsible for the late, lamented DeSoto Hotel. Alvin reminisced about that building, which was torn down to make space for the Hilton, a much derided eyesore on Madison Square. He got out a book of old images from Savannah, back in the days when the live oaks which now tower over the city’s squares were just saplings. Alvin was a member of the Historic Savannah Foundation, and recounted some of the battles which he helped fight; preserving the DeSoto was one they lost.

After a couple cocktails, we took our leave; the New Year’s celebrations were just heating up in the city, and Alvin urged us to go and have fun. We did so, but somewhat reluctantly. The party we ended up at was alright, but I have a feeling that spending New Year’s with Alvin in his incredible mansion would have been the more memorable evening.

May we guide you through Savannah?

Alvin Neely
Lady with Dirty Face
Savannah Garden
Savannah Tower
Savannah Mansion
Savannah Details
Savannah Design
Savannah House Tours
Mirror Lamp
Savanah Salon
Savanah Salon
Haunted Mirror
Porcelan Clock
Savannah Memories
Savannah Decoration
Savannah Sofa
Angel Boy
Savannah Glass
Savannah Curtain
Classic Savannah
Savannah Silver
Savannah Chair
Savannah Mansion Details
Savannah Figures
Southern Living
Flower Baby
Round Window Savannah
Savannah Tiles
Old Fashion Bathroom
Savannah Porch
southern Bell
Neely Alvin
Alvin Neely

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January 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm Comments (12)

Alex Raskin Antiques

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I found myself in the middle of a fevered dream. Alone on the third floor of a house on Monterey Square, I knocked about a room filled with antiques. Chinese vases, broken beds, faded photographs in golden frames with faces I faintly recognized. I climbed steps to the fourth floor and looked out a broken window at the nearby Mercer-Williams House. I shuddered. It was cold and in my haste to leave, I stumbled, nearly crashing into a warped, full-length mirror. “Time to wake up, Mikey”.

Antik Geschäft

But this was no dream. I really was inside this mansion filled with unbelievable antiques. I’ve never seen a store quite like Alex Raskin Antiques, at 441 Bull Street. Mr. Raskin has operating out of the Noble-Hardee mansion for twenty-five years, and has spent most of that time filling it with finds made at auctions around the world. We went inside knowing full well that we couldn’t afford to buy anything, but just wanted to see the house. Paint is peeling off the walls and windows are broken, but the dilapidation adds enormously to the charm. The guy working allowed us to wander around at our leisure, and the sheer vastness of the place won us over immediately.

If you’re in the market for antiques, or even if you’re not, don’t hesitate to visit Alex Raskins. There are some wonderful and strange pieces of art, and the eerie feeling inside this historic, deteriorated house is one-of-a-kind.

Location on our Savannah Map

Buy Antiques Online

Alex Raskin
Antique Sailing Boat
Antique Dog Bed
Golden Statue
Antique Train
Noble A Hardee
Old Mill Stone
Antique Store Savannah
Noble Hardee Mansion
Better Than Mercer
Alex Raskin Antiques
Painting Reflection
Wooden Bust Woman
Haunted Mirror Savannah
Tower of Piza
Clipper Barber Shop
Antiques
USA Kinderwagen
Amstrong House Savannah
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January 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm Comments (13)

Pulaski Square

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Laid out in 1837 and named in honor of the Polish revolutionary hero, Casimir Pulaski, who died during the Siege of Savannah, Pulaski Square is another of Barnard Street’s quiet, residential squares.

Hand Tree

Pulaski Square is devoid of monuments; there’s not even one honoring its namesake (Pulaski’s obelisk is in Monterey Square). But Pulaski does have the most impressive collection of Southern Live Oaks of all Savannah’s squares, making it an agreeable place to pass through, or relax for a spell.

Live Oaks, gorgeous residences, Spanish Moss. Let’s see, there’s something missing. Ah yes, SCAD of course! There’s not a corner of the city without the university’s sticky, paint-caked fingers all over it. The college put its stamp on Pulaski Square in 1995 by purchasing its most stately building, the red brick Pulaski House. Originally built in 1915 by the Jewish Educational Alliance, it’s now used as a girl’s dormitory.

Location on our Savannah Map

Civil War Savannah
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Double Shining
Cozy in Summer
Row Happyness
Iron Handle Pulaski
Spanish Moss Church
Winter Savannah
Cotton Red Door
Pulaski Square
Nature Taking Over
Savannah Gas Lamp
Narrow Buildings
Nard Street Savannah
Pulaski Fence
Savannah Heart
Pulaski House
SCAD Pulaski
Savannah Bench
Walking Tour
Pulaski Schark
Pulasky Was Here
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January 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm Comments (4)

The Andrew Low House on Lafayette Square

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Andrew Low was a Scot who moved to Savannah when he was sixteen. He entered the cotton business and, by the time he was in his thirties, had become the leader of uncle’s company and the richest man in the city. Accordingly, he built a house which would reflect his newly-acquired status on Savannah’s newest square, Lafayette.

Andrew Low House Savannah

For his new residence, Mr. Low hired John Norris, an architect who had done a number of important buildings in Savannah, including the Customs House on Bay Street. Norris designed Low’s house in the Italianate style, with a three-storied structure of stucco and brick. In 1849, the Lows moved in, and began throwing lavish dinner parties to which they invited famous guests such as William Thackery and Robert E. Lee.

The house would eventually be passed down to Juliette Gordon Low, who had married Andrew’s son William. Ms. Low is most well-known for being the founder the Girl Scouts, and the carriage house in the back yard was the site of their first meetings. Today, it’s become a sort of Mecca for the organization. Almost every time we’ve passed by, there’s a group of green-skirted girls waiting to get in.

We joined house tour, and had a great time. Every room has been wonderfully preserved, and is decked out with period furniture and ornamentation. The house is currently owned by the Colonial Dames of America, and the ladies who led our tour were as sweet as could be. Our guide answered all the questions we could muster, and were full of anecdotes about the house, the family, and the era in which they lived.

Location on our Savannah Map

Juliette Low, Girl Scout Founder

Savannah Sun Dial
Low House Savannah
Andrew Low Door
Inside Andrew Low House
Savannah Mirror
Christmas Savannah House Tour
Low House Piano
Interior Design Savannah
Ivory Art
Andrew Low Dining
Savannah Fruits
Savannah Lamp
Dragon Lamp
String Bird
Death Bed Gordon
Savannah Twin Boys
Play Room Savannah
Antique Toys Savannah
Savannah Bed
Cozy Curtains
Running Water Savannah
Sad Lion
Low House Church
Iron House Savannah
Savannah Berries
Low House Fence
Low House Eagle
USA Blossom
Visitors Andrew Low House
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January 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm Comments (4)

Washington Square

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The most northeastern of Savannah’s squares, Washington is a lovely garden in a quiet residential neighborhood. It was named in honor of our first president, who visited the city shortly after his election.

Savannah Houses

Originally the site of the Trustee’s Garden, Washington Square is well cared-for and regarded as one of the most beautiful squares in Savannah. Betrothed couples often choose this as the location for their wedding portraits. In fact, the first time we visited Washington Sqaure, a pair was posing together on the benches, running hand-in-hand down the sidewalk, and throwing bunches of leaves up into the air. (I don’t know why wedding photographers always instruct couples to act like idiots, but it was fun watching them. “Now jump in the air! I love it. Rub your noses together! Yaaasss, just like that. Hop on one leg and bray like donkeys! Fantastic!”)

A number of interesting buildings surround Washington Square, such as the International Seamen’s House and the Mulberry Inn, an elegant hotel which started life as a cotton warehouse before becoming a Coca-Cola bottling factory. We pretended to be guests, here, so that we could use the bathrooms. Gentlemen such as Jürgen and myself will only sneak into the finest bathrooms! And this one was pretty good so, despite our having never stayed there, the Mulberry earns our seal of approval!

Location on our Savannah Map of Squares

Savannah Books

Washington Sq Savannah
Washington Square
Horse Tour Savannah
Houston Street Savannah
Savannah Architecture
Savannah Porch
Savannah Squares
Savannah USA
Seman House Savannah
Oyster Streets Savannah
Alice in Savannah Land
Candy Houses Savannah
Candy Hydrant Savannah
Typical Savannah
Mulberry Savannah Inn
Mulberry Inn
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November 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm Comments (2)
Reynolds Square At the top of Abercorn Street is Reynolds Square, originally laid out in 1734 as Lower New Square, but renamed in honor of the Royal Governor John Reynolds.
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