Savannah’s Historical Squares: Oglethorpe Square

Built in 1734, the Oglethorpe Square is home to one of the most architecturally and historically significant homes in Savannah, the Owens-Thomas House. Located at 124 Abercorn Street, the home is one of three remaining Regency style houses designed by William Jay. The house plan is Georgian in form, but its facade combines Greek columns and Roman arches, creating transitional style between Georgian and Classical Revival. The interior features elegant plasterwork, a second-floor bridge spanning the center stairwell and one of the nation’s earliest indoor plumbing systems with cisterns, baths, shower and flush toilets.

In 1830, the house was purchased by George Welshman Owens, politician and planter, and later inherited by his granddaughter Margaret and her husband Dr. James Thomas. Their daughter then entrusted the residence to the Telfair Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1951. The home is now a house museum shown as it appeared during the residency of Mr. Owens. The Owens-Thomas House Museum is the only trust lot residence complete with original yard and outbuildings, including a combined carriage house and urban slave quarters, open to the public. The garden is laid out in the Colonial Revival style over what had been a work yard.

Continuing around Oglethorpe Square, you notice that York Street has a number of brick homes, paired houses and row houses, including those at 201-203 East York, 205 East York, which looks very much like its neighbors at 201-203. 205 East York was built in the Greek revival style in 1855 and was saved by the Historic Savannah Foundation a hundred years later. 211 East York continues the Greek revival trend in a brick-clad house. It was built in 1853. 217-219 East York Street was built later, but maintained the Greek revival style.

Book your stay on the corner of Abercorn and Bay Street.