Owens-Thomas House Tour

Oglethorpe Square

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Why You Should Go

Oglethorpe Square was laid out by James Oglethorpe upon his return from England in 1742. This was the final square that he laid out personally while residing in the colony. Today the square is home to many historically and architecturally significant homes, most built in the English Regency and Greek revival styles. The building that now houses The President’s Quarters Inn was once occupied by the prominent local judge William Law. At present the many lovely homes that surround the square are its primary claim to fame. Oglethorpe Square has no monuments. However, there have been discussions about adding a World War II memorial at some point in the future. For now, Oglethorpe Square stands as a memorial to the love and effort of Savannah preservationists, many of whom find the square’s Owens-Thomas House to be one of their finest triumphs.

  • THE OWENS-THOMAS HOUSE – Built in 1816, The Owens-Thomas House is one of the best examples of English Regency architecture in America, and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Designed by William Jay for the wealthy banker Richard Richardson the home was one of the grandest of its day, and no expense was spared in its construction. As it happened, Mr. Richardson occupied the home for only three years before heavy financial losses forced him to turn the property over to the bank. The house was subsequently purchased and turned into one of the city’s earliest and most prestigious lodging houses, catering to the elite travelers of the day. The Marquis de Lafayette was a guest in the home during a visit to Savannah in 1825, and gave a stirring address from the home’s exquisite cast-iron veranda. In 1830, George Welshman Owens, the Mayor of Savannah purchased the home, and it remained in the family until Owens’ granddaughter, Miss Margaret Thomas, donated the property to the Telfair Museum. The home is now a lovely house museum, filled with period furnishings. Of particular interest to visitors are the fabulous parterre garden, and the home’s original carriage house. The carriage house features one of the few, and perhaps the oldest urban slave quarters to survive to modern times. If you have the inclination, The Owens-Thomas House is well worth a visit.

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