One of the most historically interesting squares in the city of Savannah, Georgia is Wright Square. The square was initially planned in 1733 and was first known as Percival Square, for Lord Viscount Percival, the Georgia Trust President. The entire ward that surrounded that square was also named for him and is still known as Percival Ward to this day. Later, the square was re-named in honor of Sir James Wright, the last Royal Governor of Georgia. The square has also been known as Post Office Square and Court House Square, due to the presence of those two buildings in the square. A courthouse has actually been located in the square since the early days of the colony.
Over time, the square has seen a number of changes. At the center of the square, the grave site of a Yamacraw chief who first cooperated with the local settlers was once located. Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi’s gravesite was actually the first monument in Savannah and was erected at the time of his death in 1739 by local settlers. The chief’s grave was later removed and replaced with a monument to William W. Gordon, a local railroad tycoon who brought immense wealth to the area. The monument that was erected in Gordon’s honor is still located in Wright Square today. It was later thought that Chief Tomo-Chi-Chi’s gravesite had been handled in an inappropriate manner. A group of preservationists created a simple granite memorial and placed it at the southeast corner of the square in an effort to ensure that later generations would not forget the man who was responsible for so much of the city’s success and early safety.
A post office and courthouse now also occupy the square. The United States Post Office, constructed in 1898, is actually one of the newest buildings in the area. The building incorporates a host of styles, including Italian Renaissance, Romanesque, French, and Spanish. Visitors can also view the Chatham County Court House, located at the southeast corner of the square. A courthouse is believed to have been erected here as early as 1736, although the building you see today was not constructed until 1889. With its arched entrance, pale yellow construction, and terra cotta décor, this building is definitely one of the most architecturally interesting in Savannah. The lights located on the Bull Street-side of the building are known as the bishop’s crook lights and are similar to the lights that originally lit up the street. Restoration efforts late introduced these lights to the length of Bull Street.
The Lutheran Church of the Ascension is located on the northeast trust lot and is one of the most beloved landmarks and churches in the city. The church was constructed by Lutheran Protestants who were seeking religious freedom after being expelled from their homeland. There are numerous beautiful features to be noted in this church. Constructed in the Gothic and Norman styles, the church is home to one of the most dramatic interiors of all of the churches in Savannah. Among those features are the many windows that depict various scenes from the life of Christ and the church’s marble altar, which portrays DiVinci’s well-known “Last Supper.”