Whitefield Square was laid out along Habersham Street in 1851, and named for Reverend George Whitefield, the fourth minister of the Georgia colony, the second rector of Christ Episcopal Church, and the founder of the Bethesda Orphanage. The ward was named Wesley Ward to honor John Wesley, the father of Methodism. Wesley got his start in Savannah as Oglethorpe's secretary, then as the rector of Christ Church. He and his brother were eventually sent back to England.
Most of the houses in this ward and around this square were built after the Civil War in the late Victorian or Queen Anne style. A beautiful gazebo stands in the center of the square, keeping with the Victorian “seaside” theme for the neighborhood.
Facing west side of Whitefield Square, the First Congregational Church at 421 Habersham Street was built in 1895. The original church was built in 1869 for New England Congregationalists who came south to teach freed slaves at Savannah’s Beach Institute. For more information on the Beach Institute, click here.
The charming Queen Anne house at 408 East Gaston in 1892, features Gothic window frames, a large turret with portholes and a bracketed cornice beneath a turret roof that looks like a bell. Paired brackets that look like pediments and wrap-around balconies add a fanciful effect to the delightful home.
The paired townhouses at 412-414 East Gaston were built by George Ash in 1855. These are the same type of paired side-hall houses he previously built in the Federal style, but these reflect the Greek revival style.