Round porch Whitefield Square in Savannah

Whitefield Square

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.

Whitefield Square gazebo in 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 Square houses in Savannah

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 square, it was consecrated in the late 19th century.

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7 responses to “Whitefield Square”

  1. Kristin Avatar

    LOVE that big wrap-around porch! How much longer are y’all in Savannah?

    1. Juergen Avatar

      That porch is awesome! We are not staying much longer. We are flying to Buenos Aires on Feb 1st.

  2. Lisa Avatar
    Lisa

    THANK YOU for visiting Savannah! It is, without a doubt, my favorite city. Seeing your updates and all the pictures you took makes me realize how much I miss Savannah and how much my soul needs to go back again. With every new blog entry, I’m pulled out of the hustle & bustle of Chicago and brought back to my beloved Savannah, where my heart is happy and my soul can rest peacefully. Thank you!

    1. Juergen Avatar

      Lisa, Thank you for your comment and we are more than happy to share our Savannah experience with you. Did you grow up here or fell in love after a visit?

  3. Juergen Avatar

    From our Facebook Fan Page:

    That gazebo was built for the filming of Burt Reynold’s ‘Gator’. He gave it to the city as a thank you gift for their assistance in making the movie.

    Thank you Don!

  4. Gil Avatar
    Gil

    On the northwest corner of the square, where now sits the Rose of Sharon Independent Living Apartments formerly sat St. Joseph’s Hospital which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy. Before the hospital, the original building housed the Savannah Medical College. Flannery O’Connor was born at St. Joseph’s. Of a less historical note, but more important personal note, so was I.

    On the northeastern corner, on the south side of Taylor, is a two-story Victorian frame house. A former owner gained notoriety by painting the house in a true Victorian color scheme, contrary to the dictates of the governing authorities.
    If my memory serves, the Victorians apparently appreciated the bold color combinations of purple and pink.

    1. Juergen Avatar

      Gil – thank you so much for all your extra information. Adds true value to your site.

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