Chatham Square

The most southwestern of Savannah’s squares is Chatham, on the intersection of Barnard and Wayne. A residential square devoid of shops or monuments, Chatham was one of the last to be founded, in 1847.

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Both the square and Savannah’s Chatham county were named after a Brit who never once set foot in the city. William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham also counts Pittsburgh among the American places named in his honor. The Whig statesman led Britain during the Seven Years War, and was one of the few British politicians to sound alarm bells about the impending US Revolution. Though he was roundly ignored by an obtuse parliament, Pitt sought to appease the colonists before things got out of hand.

Older Savannahians often refer to Chatham Square as Barnard Square, because of the school on its northwestern side. Still the square’s most conspicuous building, the school now hosts SCAD’s Fibers Department. The rest of the buildings around Chatham are apartments, making this one of the quieter residential squares in the city. Gordon Row, on the southeastern side, is a stand out. These fifteen four-story brick townhouses were built before the Civil War, and are still used as apartments.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. William

    Wasn’t Chatham the square that the guy drove through drunk a few years back and knocked over the sundial?

    1. Gil

      That was Troup Square.

      1. William

        Thanks. Just couldn’t quite remember which it was.

  2. Gil

    I lived in Gordon Row back in the late 1970s, pre-Scad and Midnight. It was a great time to live and work downtown. The nearby Crystal Beer Parlor was a neighborhood saloon, limited in size to the bar area and accompanying booths and tables. The wooden floors were sprinkled with the sawdust-like sweeping compound. It had the hamburgers in town. I wish I could remember the names of both of the waiters who had worked there for decades. “Smitty” was one of the gentlemen who served as waiters. Until the new buildings were built on the east side of the square, we had a volleyball net strung on a vacant lot for Sunday afternoon play. Things have changed sinced then, some for better, some for worse.

  3. Steve Edwards

    Beautiful pictures. We live on Chatham Square, so I’m always taking pictures in and around it. I’m afraid most of them don’t meet your standards. Great site.

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