Located on Habersham Street between State and York Streets, Columbia Square personifies the artistic and cultural significance of the Savannah area.
Laid out in 1799, Columbia Square represents the overall feeling of patriotism that the United States enjoyed following the Revolutionary War. Through America was still in its infancy during this period, it proved to be a touchstone for its citizens to plan and build up great cities like Savannah.
Columbia Square became a victim of time and neglect at the beginning of the 20th century, but preservation efforts over the last 40 years have once again made it one of the most beautiful squares in the historic district of Savannah.
As part of this preservation, the Wormsloe fountain was placed in the center of the square in 1970, where it remains today. There is great historical significance with this fountain, as it came from the first plantation in Georgia. Its owner, Noble Jones, was one of the settlers from England that decided to put roots down in the Savannah area.
This renaissance of Columbia Square began shortly after the placement of the Wormsloe fountain, spearheaded by Eudora and Wainwright Roebling. The couple was perhaps inspired by the efforts a few years earlier to restore The Davenport House at 324 East State Street.
Through there are many architecturally and historically significant homes on Columbia Square, The Davenport House is perhaps the most important. Constructed in 1812 by master builder Isaiah Davenport, the home has changed hands only a handful of times in the past 200 years. It stayed in the hands of Davenport family until 1840, when it was sold to William Baynard. The home became a victim of the neglect common in the area in the 1940s and 1950s and was set for destruction.
In one the earliest examples of the power of the preservationist movement in Savannah, Anna Hunter recruited friends and family to help raise money to save and restore the home. Their efforts proved to be successful and eventually spawned interest in preserving other areas around the city. The Historic Savannah Foundation has made its mission to maintain the homes of the city that are of cultural and historic significance. It is headquartered in The Davenport House, which also contains a museum that outlines the extensive preservation efforts.
Other important homes around Columbia Square include the Kehoe House, a brick mansion built for the founder of Kehoe Ironworks, a legendary Savannah industry.