Sir James Wright

Originally named Percival Square, Wright Square was renamed to honor the last Royal Governor of Georgia, Sir James Wright. It is also commonly called, “Court House Square”, as courthouse has stood on the corner of the square since the early days.

The Lutheran Church of Ascension

Northeast of the square is the Lutheran Church of the Ascension. One of Savannah’s most loved churches and landmarks. It was built by Lutheran Protestant exiles from Salzburg, who sought religious freedom in Georgia after being expelled from their homeland.

The church was built in the Norman and Gothic styles and has one of Savannah’s most dramatic church interiors. Like the various windows depicting scenes from the life of Christ, and the marble altar, which portrays DaVinci’s “Last Supper”. The stained-glass window over the alter depicts the Risen Lord ascending into heaven with the disciples at his feet. In 1879 the church took on the name “Ascension,” after the beautifully crafted window.

Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi and William W Gordon

The gravesite of Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi, the Yamacraw chief who offered peace and cooperation with the settlers, originally occupied the center of the square. It was marked by Savannah’s first monument, the stone pyramid that the settlers built to honor Tomo-Chi-Chi upon his death in 1739.

More than 100 years later, William W. Gordon brought immense wealth to Savannah by constructing a railroad which brought cotton to the docks and wharves of Savannah from distant plantations. Because of these contributions, the Savannahians of the time felt that he should be honored by a memorial… in Wright Square.

They then removed Tomo-Chi-Chi’s grave (some say scattering his bones all around the plot of land) and replaced it with a monument to Gordon, standing in the middle of the square today.

Later preservationists thought this erasure and oversite was unacceptable. They created a memorial of simple granite stone at the southeast corner of Wright Square dedicated to Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi, so that succeeding generations would not forget the man to whom the city owed its early safety and successes.

Courthouse Architecture

The old Chatham County Courthouse from which the square gets its nick name was built in 1889. A yellow brick building, with terra cotta decoration, an arched entrance on the west side, it was designed by William G. Preston in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. The building is now home to the Administrative Legislative Center.

Book your stay in the heart of downtown Savannah.

Share This Story With Your Friends!