Madison Square, like all the small parks in Savannah’s Historic District, is beautiful, extending visually on its western side over the road into the gardens of the Green-Meldrim House and St John’s Episcopal Church complex. The nearby streets are of a more firmly residential character than those of the more northerly Bull Street squares.
The fourth of the Bull Street squares, Madison Square was laid out in 1837. Two other squares, Lafayette, to its east and Pulaski, to its west, were also laid out at that time.
Madison Square has two of Savannah’s historic homes, the Green-Meldrim House being one and the Sorrel Weed House the other. It is also the site of the monument to Sergeant William Jasper, the only Revolutionary War figure not of General rank to be honored in one of Savannah’s principal squares.
Madison Square is right at the center of Savannah’s Historic District, at the intersection of Bull and Macon Streets. Surrounding Jasper Ward is bounded by Liberty, Whitaker, Drayton and Jones Streets. See on map
Northwards on Bull Street is Chippewa Square and the historic Savannah Theatre; south is Monterey Square, location of the Mercer-Williams House of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil fame. East of Madison is Lafayette Square and the beautiful Cathedral of St John the Baptist; peaceful Pulaski Square is to its west.
Madison Square is named for James Madison (1751-1836), fourth President of the United States, who had died the year previous to its laying out. Madison was one of the central figures in the drafting of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Jasper Ward is named for Sergeant William Jasper, who fought in the American War of Independence. A monument (see below) was later also erected in his honor. Three new wards were laid out at this time, all of them named for heroes of the Revolutionary War (the others being Pulaski and Lafayette).
The Green-Meldrim House, General Sherman’s headquarters during his occupation of Savannah near the end of the Civil War, fronts on the western side of Madison Square. Tours of the house are available.
Now owned and managed by the adjacent St John’s Church, the house was built for wealthy merchant Charles Green in the early 1850s. It was designed by John S Norris.
At the time of its construction, the Greem-Meldrim House was the most expensive residence ever constructed in Savannah. The house was later sold to prominent Irish lawyer and politician Peter Meldrim.
This English-style Gothic Revival church was built in the 1850s, at the same time as the adjacent Green-Meldrim House (into which it has since expanded). It was constructed according to the designs of New York architect Calvin Otis. The space between the house and church, once a roadway, has been converted into a small but pretty garden, with a covered walkway connecting the two buildings.
The Sorrel-Weed House, an excellent example of Savannah’s Greek Revival architecture, was built around the late 1830s for Savannah merchant Francis Sorrel, designed by Charles B Cluskey. Henry Davis Weed bought the house in the early 1860s. It was one of the first properties in the city to receive official designation of its historic status.
Madison Square’s monument, unveiled in February 1888, commemorates Sergeant William Jasper (c1750-1779), killed during the Revolutionary War Siege of Savannah. Jasper’s famed recovery of his company’s banner is represented in his statue. Scenes of the battle and his death are depicted on the monument’s base.