Walking through Calhoun Square is like walking through Savannah’s rich past. Calhoun Square still retains all of its original structures from the 1850s and 1860s. The old Massie School House, built soon after the square was laid out, and the imposing Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church are still nestled in Calhoun Square today. Like most parks in Savannah, Calhoun Square has only become lusher with beautiful landscape throughout the years, providing plenty of shade along the brick stone walkways.
Calhoun Square was laid out on the city’s common lands. The exact location of Calhoun Square is said to have once been the site of an early 19th century burial ground. The square itself was named after John C. Calhoun (1782–1850). A politician and political theorist, Calhoun served as Senator for South Carolina, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State. He also served as vice president under two presidents, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, between 1825 and 1832. As Calhoun is regarded as an increasingly contentious figure in American history, denounced for his racism and his support for slavery, the city has considered a proposal to rename Calhoun Square to Jubilee Square. The name change would be in recognition of Jubilee Freedom Day, marking the end of enslavement in Savannah.
Some of the most amazing buildings of Savannah’s rich history still surround Calhoun Square, including locations such as the Massie School House, which opened in 1865. The first public school in Savannah, it was originally designed by architect John Morris in 1856 and still stands today. Visitors also enjoy exploring 432 Abercorn, considered by many to be one of the most haunted homes in Savannah. Constructed in 1868 for Benjamin T. Wilson, a veteran of the American Civil War, the home features beautiful Greek Revival decor.
The park is open to the public, seven days a week.