The Telfair Family

Originally named St. James Square (1733-1883), Telfair Square is nestled between W. State and W. York Street. It was renamed in 1883 to honor the contributions of the Telfair family to Savannah’s cultural and economic success. Mary Telfair, granddaughter of Edward Telfair, former Governor of Georgia, used the family riches to help fund religious, cultural, and social causes to care for the needs of Savannahians.

Take a 20 Second Getaway

Why not take a 20 second visit to Telfair Square? Enjoy the green grass with plenty of shade provide by the towering Live Oaks.

The Telfair Museums

Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences

Originally a family townhouse belonging to the Telfair family, it became a free art museum in 1886. Making the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences one of the first 10 art museums in America, and the oldest public art museum in the South.

Right in front of the academy you will find the statues of Phidias, and Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Raphael. The seven-feet, six-inch-high statues were placed there to enhance the mansion’s elegant façade and to announce to visitors that this was no longer a private home, it is a temple of the arts!

The Telfair Academy holds three nineteenth-century period rooms and houses nineteenth and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection.

Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, the Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts stands on the southwest corner of Barnard and York Street. The museum is home to a collection of approximately 4,000 works of art from America and Europe, dating primarily from the 18th-21st centuries. They also provide many dynamic educational and community outreach programs, and exciting exhibitions.

This is the second of the three properties that make up the Telfair Museums. The third, The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, is in Oglethorpe Square.

Girl Scout Connection

Two tile-faced Federal buildings named for Juliette Gordon Low are found on the southeast corner of Barnard and York streets. In front of each building is a mosaic-covered column designed by well-known sculpture Ned Smyth. The column to the north symbolizes culture and the palm tree to the south symbolizes nature and is called “Worlds Apart”.

Telfair Square is also the home of two notable monuments. In the southeastern corner of the square is a low-lying cement monument honoring the Girl Scouts, while the northeast corner features a cement image of a chambered nautilus.

Book your stay, just blocks from Savannah’s historic Telfair square.

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