Troup Square is a quiet, pleasant space slightly off the regular tourist track, offering historic, understated but attractive 19th-century architecture and a respite from the busier streets of the city.
The square is located to the south-east of Savannah’s Historic District, at the intersection of Habersham and East Macon Streets. Surrounding Troup Ward is bounded by Liberty, Lincoln, Price and Jones Streets. See on map
It is named for former Governor of Georgia George McIntosh Troup (1780-1856), in a rare departure from the city’s then policy of naming its streets, wards and squares to honor deceased historical figures.
The fountain in the square was a gift to the city by former mayor Herman Myers. It was moved to Troup Square from its previous location in Forsyth Park. Originally intended to be used by people, the fountain was later modified and converted to a dog fountain.
The fountain is currently used for the annual Blessing of the Pets, an interfaith blessing and memorial ceremony held on or around the Feast of St Francis on October 4.
Instead of a monument, Troup Square is ornamented by an armillary sphere, an art installation representing the ancient device used to calculate the movement of stars in the sky. The sphere was installed in the 1970s, the first modern sculpture to be put on public display in Savannah.
To the east of the square, on Macon and Charlton Streets, are two blocks of historic row houses, both restored in the later half of the 20th century. Kennedy Row, on East Macon Street, was built in 1872. McDonough Row, immediately south of it on Charlton Street, was constructed a decade later, in 1882.
On the western side of the square is the Unitarian Universalist Church. The building, probably designed by John Norris and completed in the early 1850s, was originally erected on Oglethorpe Square.
Various difficulties forced the sale of the church building, to St Stephens Episcopal Church, whose members moved the edifice to its current location on Troup Square. The Unitarian Universalist church reorganized in 1961, eventually buying back its former building in 1997.
The church’s main claim to fame is that in 1857, James Pierpont (brother of the church’s minister, John Pierpont) composed the internationally famous song Jingle Bells whilst employed as its organ player.
The Beach Institute, a block northeast of Troup Square, was established by the Freedmen’s Bureau in 1867 to provide an education for Savannah’s newly emancipated African Americans. Today, the Institute is a center for African-American art and culture. More details