A quiet, shady square set amidst some of Savannah’s most beautiful residential architecture, Pulaski Square is often overlooked by visitors. Only two blocks west of the city’s popular thoroughfare Bull Street, it is well worth a brief detour to see. See on map
Pulaski Square itself is understated and attractive, more open in appearance than many of Savannah’s other squares. It has no monument and, uncrowded too, presents a more restful space than many of the busier squares.
It is the streets and historic homes on the square and in the surrounding Pulaski Ward, however – particularly to its south, between it and neighboring Chatham Square – that most reward those visitors willing to stray just a little from the tourist path.
Pulaski Square was laid out in 1837, along with Madison and Lafayette Squares, both lying to its east along Macon Street. It is named for the Polish Count Casimir Pulaski (1745-1779), killed in the Siege of Savannah. His monument stands in Monterey Square.
Pulaski Square was the first residential area restored by the Historic Savannah Foundation. The Pulaski Square-West Jones Street project began in 1965, a year before Savannah’s Historic District was awarded its National Landmark status.
In 1965, the Foundation bought several properties in the thirteen acre district around the square. It also worked to encourage private individuals to restore many of the other houses and buildings on and around the square.
See full list of Savannah’s squares
The main attraction of the area around Pulaski Square is its architecture. Unlike many of the residential squares on Savannah’s eastern side, Pulaski Square’s buildings are predominantly constructed out of brick (with a few wood-frame exceptions). Many of the buildings around the square are original, dating from the 1830s to the 1850s.
A large proportion of the houses in Pulaski Ward were constructed as rental properties, the need for which was growing in mid-19th century Savannah. A greater uniformity in style and construction was the result, high individuality in architectural styles more usually reserved for homes built for their eventual occupiers.
Parts of Pulaski Ward, along with Orleans Square and Jackson Ward to the north, were popular residential locations for Savannah’s Jewish citizens, Jewish-owned business houses often built along Liberty Street. Many of the homes in the neighborhood centered around these squares were constructed for the city’s most prominent Jewish families.
The large deep red brick building with green awnings facing on the east of the Pulaski Square was built in 1915 by the Jewish Educational Alliance, which still provides social and cultural programs for Savannah’s Jewish citizens. The building has since been purchased by the Savannah College of Art and Design, which uses it as a women’s dormitory.
Beautifully-restored, brick-paved Jones Street, lined with historic residences and ornamented by a profusion of live oaks arching overhead, is another of the highlights of this area. Jones Street makes a shaded promenade almost the whole way across the Historic District, but the best blocks are in the city’s west.
The streets around Pulaski Square are short on places to obtain refreshment, with a handful of locations around the rim of Pulaski Ward. On the north side of the ward is Savannah Coffee Roasters (215 West Liberty Street), a century-old coffee shop serving home-roasted coffee and café food. Next door is Italian café and deli FraLi Gourmet (217 West Liberty Street).
Along the western side of the ward is the Crystal Beer Parlor (301 West Jones Street), another historic establishment that claims to have been among the first bars in the country to have resumed the sale of alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition. Today it serves a range of local Savannah- and Georgia-brewed beers plus American-style food. The building formerly housed a grocery store. Nearby is the more formal Noble Fare (321 Jefferson Street), open for evening dining only.
There is usually no difficulty parking in the vicinity of Pulaski Square. To the north and north-east, respectively, are the city-owned Civic Center parking lot and Liberty Street Parking Garage; north-west is the private Liberty Parking Deck (where city parking passes will not be valid). Metered and some un-metered on-street spaces are also easy enough to find.