Savannah’s Historical Squares: Ellis Square

Ellis Square and Decker Ward were the third to be laid out by James Oglethorpe in 1733. The square was originally called Decker Square, but like many others was renamed later.

Ellis Square is bordered by West Bryan Street and West Congress Street.  Bryan Street is named for South Carolinian, Joseph Bryan, who assisted James Oglethorpe in establishing the colony. After the American Revolution, Duke Street was renamed Congress Street. Barnard Street is named either for a French engineer named Bernard or a family named Barnard who lived on the street in the Colonial period. St. Julian Street is named for James St. Julian, who assisted the colony for one month by directing the construction of housing.

Named for Henry Ellis, the 2nd Royal Governor of Georgia, Ellis Square was originally known as Market Square and became the site of 4 public markets between 1733 and the 1950s. Sir Henry Ellis was born into a wealthy English family and as a young man, ran away from home to sail around the world.

The Market Square supplied Savannah residents with most of its meat and produce. In 1954, the market building was demolished to make way for a parking garage, which occupied the entire square. In 2005, the parking garage was torn down to make way for the restoration of Ellis Square. This project includes the recreation of Ellis Square as a community green space and an underground parking facility. A new city market was built and now restaurants, shops, art studios and more surround the historical area.

Book your room within walking distance of Ellis Square and City Market, today!

Sources: and photo from