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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)

Whitefield Square

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On Habersham and Wayne, Whitefield was one of the final squares to be laid out in Savannah, in 1851. With a distinctive gazebo in its center and gingerbread houses surrounding it, this small square feels like a throw-back to Victorian times.

Gazebo Wedding Savannah

The square was named after George Whitefield, a British priest who came to the colonies and was largely responsible for a religious movement that has become known as the First Great Awakening. The “Awakening” left a permanent imprint on American religion, by eschewing quiet contemplation and somber services in favor of loud, bombastic preaching, and by putting a heavy emphasis on personal guilt and the need for redemption. When you see present-day televangelists screaming and crying and carrying on about the devil inside all of us… well, you can thank Mr. Whitefield for that.

Whitefield also put great worth in the importance of public deeds, and did his part by establishing the Bethesda Orphanage just outside Savannah. Still in use today, this was the very first orphanage in all North America.

Whitefield Square is fun to explore, as long as you don’t mind the occasional pan-handler. The gazebo in the center could be a nice place to spend some time, but it’s currently the exclusive domain of vagabonds. Still, Whitefield is not without its charms. The Congregational Church, for example, is a handsome building. Found on the western side of the sqaure, it was consecrated in the late 19th century.

Location on our Savannah Map

Buy Your Gazebo Here

Gazebo
Whitefiled Square
Savannah Tower
Savannah Architecture
Ginger Bread Houses Savannah
Savannah Seeds
Savannah Herbs
Corner House Savannah
Savannah Porche
Savannah One Way
Savannah Lizard
Rusty Lamp
Sneaky Leaf
Savannah Fine Art
Savannah Gates
Savannah Garden
Savannah Fountain
Savannah Gates Iron
Pink and Poofy
Churches of Savannah
Brown Church
Church Glass
Church Corner
Church-Congregational
Hot Rod Savannah
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January 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm Comments (10)

Fine Dining at The Olde Pink House

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The Olde Pink House, on the western side of Reynolds Square, was built in 1771 and is the oldest surviving mansion in all of Savannah. Today, it’s one of the city’s most beloved restaurants, and is also home to a popular bar on its bottom floor.

Pink House Savannah

The mansion was originally built for James Habersham, who was one of the colonial city’s most important merchants. Habersham committed suicide in the basement of this house after discovering that his wife was having an affair with the architect. Because this is Savannah, Habersham’s ghost is rumored to still wander the halls. Much of the restaurant’s staff claims to have encountered him at least once.

We didn’t see any apparitions during our dinner at the Pink House, but it’s certainly a suitable place for them. Each of the low-lit rooms in this multi-floor restaurant is decked out with original artwork and furniture, and the effect is haunting, especially at night. I felt transported back to the 18th century as we were led to our table. After ordering, I embarked on a little tour of the restaurant, to admire the individual rooms.

As fascinating as the history is, and as impressive the decor, the best thing about the Pink House is the food. Good lord! On a recommendation from a friend, I tried the flounder, which was perfectly cooked and covered in a rich apricot sauce. It’s one of their specialties, and for good reason. Jürgen had pecan crusted chicken breast, and we both were given Southern-specialty sides like collard greens. Everything was delicious.

The Planters Tavern is a bar on the bottom floor of the Pink House, where you’ll often find a jazz singer and pianist. It’s a cool spot to spend a late, relaxed evening. If you see Habersham’s spirit in the seat next to you, do him a favor and act scared. It’s not easy being the ghost of an old, pink house.

Location on our Savannah Restaurant Map

50% Off Restaurant Gift Cards

Stuffed Artichokes
Flounder Pink House
Pecan Crusted
Savannah Pink House
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November 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm Comments (4)
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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