Wright Square has two of the most impressive monuments in all of downtown – a towering statue and an enormous boulder.
Not to mention, some great shopping! Its layout materialized in 1733. The original name of the square was Percival in honor of Viscount Percival, who became the Earl of Egmont. Later, the city decided to rename it Wright Square, after Sir James Wright, Georgia’s third and last Royal Governor.
The central monument honors William Washington Gordon, the founder of the Central of Georgia Railroad, and the boulder in the southeast corner memorializes Tomochichi, the leader of the Yamacraws, a friend of General Oglethorpe and ally of the English.
Tomochichi negotiated a treaty that gave General Oglethorpe the land that became Savannah and was a key part in establishing the military outpost against the Spanish invasion. After he died in the Yamacraw Indian Village in 1737 he was brought back to Savannah to be buried among his English friends, at his request. His body lies in the center of the square with a pyramid of rocks placed over his grave. General Oglethorpe’s ordered the burial arrangements.
Over the years, damaged occurred to the pyramid and speculation grew as to the specific burial site of Tomochichi.
The mound was removed in and the Central of Georgia Railroad and Banking Company erected the memorial to honor Gordon in 1882, thus destroying the original grave of Tomochichi. But in 1899, Nellie Kinzie Gordon, Gordon’s daughter-in-law, made it a priority to erect a new monument to honor Tomochichi.
With help from other members of the Colonial Dames, they took a piece of granite from Stone Mountain. They placed the granite in the square for Tomochichi, even though his grave is still under the Gordon Monument.
Van Brunt and Howe of Boston designed the Gordon Monument. The monument consists of four red granite columns with Corinthian capitals. The columns support four winged figures that hold a globe. The four figures represent agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and art. They symbolize the tenet that together, they make the world prosper.
Wright Square is also the site of the Lutheran Church of Ascension. An extensive remodeling project finished in 1879. The dedication of “The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension” occurred shortly after. The stained glass window behind the altar depicts Christ’s ascension into heaven, thus the dedication and the name.