BACKSTORY: From the Visit Historic Savannah website: Laid out along Abercorn Street in 1837, Lafayette Square and Lafayette Ward were named for the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who served as Washington’s Aide de Camp during the American Revolution. Lafayette visited Savannah in 1825 and was highly regarded by the local citizens. He later dedicated the monument to Nathanael Greene in Johnson Square.
There are no monuments in Lafayette Square, but the National Society of Colonial Dames of America installed a fountain in 1983 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Georgia colony. There are several historically and architecturally significant buildings on Lafayette Square. On the Northwest corner of Abercorn and Charlton Streets is the elegant Andrew Low House built in 1849. After Andrew’s death, his widow, Juliette Gordon Low, founded the Girl Scouts of America on March 12, 1912, and she left the carriage house to the Savannah Girl Scouts. The carriage house at 330 Drayton Street, now houses a collection of Girl Scout memorabilia. This home is owned and preserved by the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia. For more history on the Andrew Low House, click here.
On the south side of Charlton Street is an unusual West Indies-style home designed to have the main house entered from the piazza. Built in 1852, by Andrew Lows partner in the cotton business, William Battersby, this type of architecture is unique in Savannah, but often seen in Charleston. The three-bay sidehall townhouse in the Greek revival style at 207 East Charlton was the childhood home of prize-winning author Flannery O’Connor.
The Hamilton-Turner House at 330 Abercorn, now a beautifully restored bed and breakfast, is one of the most beautiful homes in Savannah. Built in 1873 for Samuel Hamilton, the home reflects Second Empire baroque as well as Italianate architectural influences. For more history on the Hamilton-Turner House, click here.
The Cathedral of St. John Baptist located at Abercorn and Harris is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Georgia. Rebuilt from the original design following a tragic fire in 1898, the church’s Gothic revival spires can be seen throughout the city. The church is the starting point for Savannah’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.