The low-key Troup Square boasts the most modern-looking monument in downtown Savannah , the Armillary Sphere. Essentially an elaborate sundial, the sphere is a series of astrologically themed rings with an arrow that marks the time by shadow. It’s supported by six tortoises.
Troup Square is also the home of the historic Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah (313 E. Harris St., 912/234-0980, www.jinglebellschurch.org , Sunday service 11 a.m.). This original home of Savannah’s Unitarians, who sold the church when the Civil War came, was recently re-acquired by the congregation. It is where James L. Pierpont first performed his immortal tune “Jingle Bells.” However, when he did so the church was actually on Oglethorpe Square . The entire building was moved to Troup Square in the mid-1800s.
Just east of Troup Square, near the intersection of Harris and Price Streets, is the Beach Institute (502 E. Harris St., 912/234-8000, www.kingtisdell.org , Tues.–Sun. noon–5 p.m., $4). Built as a school by the Freedmen’s Bureau soon after the Civil War, it was named after its prime benefactor, Alfred Beach, editor of Scientific American, and served as an African American school through 1919. Restored by SCAD and given back to the city to serve as a museum, the Beach Institute houses the permanent Ulysses Davis collection and a rotating calendar of art with a connection to black history.
There aren’t a lot of individual attractions on Jones Street, the east–west avenue between Taylor and Charlton Streets just north of Monterey Square . Rather, it’s the small-scale, throwback feel of the place and its tasteful, dignified homes, including the former home of Joe Odom at 16 East Jones Street, that are the attraction.
The Eliza Thompson House (5 W. Jones St.), now a bed-and-breakfast, was in fact the first home on Jones Street. Cotton factor Joseph Thompson built the house for his wife Eliza in 1847. The carriage house is not original to the structure, having been built almost from scratch in 1980.