If you’re looking for a downtown Savannah square that seamlessly blends history with a lively cultural and social scene, Chippewa Square is an ideal choice to call home.


If you’re looking for a downtown Savannah square that seamlessly blends history with a lively cultural and social scene, Chippewa Square is an ideal choice to call home.

Dominated by the heroic statue of Savannah’s founder General James Oglethorpe, the square is named in honor of the American victory at the Battle of Chippewa in the War of 1812. Although the square was laid out near war’s end in 1815, the striking bronze sculpture of Oglethorpe at its center didn’t arrive until nearly a century later in 1910.

Featuring Oglethorpe facing south toward the British colony’s Spanish enemy, the statue was created by Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, the same sculptor/architect duo who designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The four stately lions guarding the statue’s base bear four separate seals: Oglethorpe’s family crest as well as the seals of the city of Savannah, the state of Georgia and the colony of Georgia.

For most Americans, however, Chippewa Square is probably most recognizable as the place where Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, sat on a bench musing about life being like a box of chocolates (with traffic going the wrong way around the square). While many visitors stop by Chippewa Square looking for that famous bench, it was actually a movie prop that’s now on permanent display at the Savannah History Museum.


While little remains of famed British architect William Jay’s original 1818 building, the Savannah Theatre on the square’s northeast corner has earned the distinction of being the nation’s oldest theatre in continuous operation and still hosts a busy schedule of live musicals, performances and revues.

Two presidents have contributed to the history of Chippewa Square. James Monroe visited Savannah in 1819 to dedicate the square, and Woodrow Wilson was married in 1885 in the Independent Presbyterian Church manse on the square’s north side.

Independent Presbyterian — whose 223-foot spire overlooking downtown Savannah is one of the tallest structures in Chatham County — hosted the first Sunday School for African American residents in 1826. The church’s choir director, Lowell Mason, authored over 1,500 hymns and stands apart as a key figure in American music education. The oldest church on the square, however, is First Baptist Church on the northwest corner, which is the oldest standing church in Savannah.


However, Chippewa Square offers more than history. It also has a vibrant social and culinary scene that’s active from early morning into the wee hours.

Gallery Espresso, located on the south side of the square, is one of Savannah’s most beloved coffeehouses and community meeting spots. Six Pence Pub has earned the distinction of being one of Savannah’s oldest bars and restaurants and has been featured in movies like “Something to Talk About,” starring Julia Roberts. McDonough’s Restaurant and Lounge is an iconic center of Savannah nightlife, plus the burgeoning Perry Lane hotel and entertainment complex across Drayton Street has brought new energy to the entire area, including a hotel rooftop bar overlooking the square. The Foley House Inn, one of Savannah’s favorite bed and breakfasts, is located in a beautiful 1896 townhouse overlooking Chippewa Square.

Chippewa Square residents love the central location in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District as well as the easy access to local dining, shopping and nightlife. It’s an ideal place to call home, with a wide range of historic real estate, from grand antebellum homes to restored condominiums.

By any measure, Chippewa Square is a great place to live. If you’re interested in buying or selling property on any of Savannah’s historic squares, work closely with a real estate professional who has experience with residential real estate in the downtown area.

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