Green-Meldrim House

The Green-Meldrim House, Savannah, GA

Open Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday. Adult admission $10.

See below: full visitor information

See also: overview of Savannah’s historic house museums

The Green-Meldrim House, on Madison Square is a beautifully-restored mid-19th century home with considerable historic appeal. It is currently owned and operated by the adjacent St John’s Episcopal Church.

Charles Green, a native of England, arrived in Savannah in 1833, then in his twenties. In less than two decades, he had made himself one of the richest men in the city, able to construct what is reputed to be the most expensive house erected in Savannah to that date.

The house was built for Green’s second wife, Lucinda Ireland Hunton, whom he married in 1850 (he lost his first wife to tuberculosis), one of the terms of their union being that Green would build Lucinda a house, to be deeded to her and her heirs.

The house’s main historical significance is as a site in Savannah’s Civil War history: Charles Green gave General Sherman the use of his house during the Union army’s occupation of Savannah from December 1864. (Some said the gesture was intended to spare his southern fellow-citizens the indignity of hosting the enemy; others that Green made the offer in the hope that the invading forces would not burn his fine new house.)

Sherman, however not only spared the house: he spared the whole of Savannah, famously presenting the city to President Lincoln as a “Christmas-gift,” in a historic telegram composed from Green’s home.

Charles Green died in 1881 (he is buried at Laurel Grove Cemetery), the house passing to Edward Moon Green, his son by his late wife Lucinda. Edward kept the house for only a few years. Financial pressures forced him to sell it, to prominent Savannah lawyer (later judge and, briefly, mayor) Peter Meldrim, in 1892. The house remained in Meldrim’s family until 1943, sold in that year by his daughter Sophie Meldrim to the adjacent St John’s Episcopal Church.

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What To See & Do

Guided tours A guided tour is the only way to see the Green-Meldrim House as a member of the public. Tours lasting around 45 minutes are available several days a week, given by members of the St John’s Church.

If you are set on seeing this house, it is best to call ahead to inquire about opening hours, as it is sometimes closed for private church functions not publicised on the website. Please also note that weekend opening is restricted to Saturday mornings.

Both first and second floor of the house are usually toured, with several rooms to see on each. Docents focus on the history of the home and its inhabitants, its architecture and antiques. The house is still in active use by the church, which gives it a less “preserved” feel than some of Savannah’s other historic homes.

Architecture

The Green-Meldrim House was built from the early 1850s, and is believed to have been completed at some time between 1856 and 1861. The house was designed by John S Norris in the Gothic Revival style, of which it is considered to be an excellent example.

Like many of Savannah’s larger homes, the stone and brick walls of the Green-Meldrim House are covered in stucco, a decorative surface applied to keep water out of the bricks. Interior details of note include its ornately decorated moldings and fixtures.

St John’s Church has made several alterations and renovations to the Green-Meldrim House and grounds since acquiring the property. The church turned the main residence into its Parish House. The service building, former home to the house slaves (and later, servants) and the kitchens, carriage house and stables, became its Rectory.

Gardens The gardens of the Green-Meldrim House, shared with the adjacent St John’s Episcopal Church, can be visited outside of the official tour. Uniquely in Savannah, the grounds of the St John’s-Green-Meldrim complex occupy two full trust lots. Ordinarily, they would be divided by a street, but St John’s Church obtained special dispensation from the city to convert that portion of the street into gardens, granted in 1960. Today, the Church and the House are connected by a covered walkway.

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Visitor Information

The following is correct at the time of writing. Please verify details before planning your trip. For additional information call 912-233-3845 or visit the official website.

Opening hours Guided tours of the house are available Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am-4pm and Saturday, 10am-1pm (last tour 30 minutes before closing).

Admission Adults $10, children $5.

Getting There

Address 14 West Macon Street, Savannah, GA 31401
GPS coordinates N 32.073689, W -081.094426

The Green-Meldrim House is at the intersection of West Macon and Bull Streets, in the center of Savannah’s Historic District. It fronts on the western side of Bull Street’s Madison Square, directly adjacent to St John’s Episcopal Church. See on map

Parking There is no on-site parking, but street parking will usually be available nearby (free on weekends). The nearest parking garage is the Liberty Parking Deck, two blocks north of the Green-Meldrim House. City parking passes are not valid at this garage. More about parking in Savannah

Public transport Savannah’s free downtown shuttle stops about 2 blocks from the Green-Meldrim House. If you are traveling from the Midtown hotel district, the paid CAT Route 14 service stops 4 blocks from the house. Get public transport directions

More about public transport in Savannah, including free services

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