Just two blocks northeast of the famous Forsyth Park is what was once a retreat for schoolchildren and a bit of backyard for those in the heart of Downtown Savannah. At Calhoun Square you can get some of the best views of the Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church and the Massie School.
This square, which was laid out in 1851, was named in honor of John C. Calhoun, a United States Senator from South Carolina, who served as the Vice President under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.
Overlooking the square is the Massie Common School House, designed by John Norris in the Greek Revival style. He was hired in 1855 and by the next year, the school was open and running for classes on October 15, 1856. But when General William Sherman arrived with his troops in December of 1864, they took over the school and used it as a hospital. When students came back to the school the next year, the population grew and in 1872 a west wing was added as well as a matching east wing in 1886.
The towering church on the square, Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church is of Gothic architectural style with spires measuring 136 and 196 feet. Construction of the church started in 1875 and the first phase of construction was finished in May of 1878, but it would be 12 more years before the sanctuary on the second floor was finished.
Just two blocks north of Calhoun Square is Clary’s Cafe, named one of the “Best Breakfast Joints” by Garden & Gun Magazine, and three blocks southwest is Downtown Savannah’s biggest park, Forsyth Park.