Savannah, GA 31401
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00a - 4:00p
Saturday: 10:00a - 1:00p
Last tour is 30 minutes before closing. Closed: December 15 thru January 15 & 2 weeks before Easter
The Green-Meldrim House was constructed as a residence for Mr. Charles Green, who came to Savannah from England in 1833. Mr. Green arrived in Georgia with little means, but made his fortunate as a cotton merchant and ship owner in Savannah and by the early 1850s he built his Gothic villa at a cost of $93,000. The house was considered one of the most elaborate homes in Savannah.
According to Green family records, $40,000 of the cost of the building materials including flagstones, laths, planks and bricks, were brought from England on Mr. Green’s ships. Recent restorations have revealed that the bricks were actually made at a foundry in Macon, GA.
Hoping to protect his home and his cotton from destruction when Union General William T. Sherman’s army drew near in December of 1864, Mr. Green rode out to meet General Sherman and invited the General to use his home while in Savannah. General William T. Sherman agreed to use the house as his headquarters when the Union army occupied Savannah during the Civil War. It was from this house that Sherman sent his famous cable to President Lincoln, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah.
The Green-Meldrim House is one of the South’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. The house features a beautiful cast iron portico at the entrance and a covered porch on three sides of the house surrounded by ornate ironwork. The planting in the garden was not authentic to the period of the house, but after the removal of layers of soil it is believed that the pattern of the original flower beds was discovered and has been restored.
The Green-Meldrim House was the most expensive 19th century house in Savannah. Its unique crenellated parapet and “oriel” windows add to the gothic style.
Numerous original adornments remain in the interior of the home, including American black walnut woodwork on the main floor, elaborate crown moldings, marble mantles, matching chandeliers and large mirrors in gold leaf frames brought from Austria. There are marble mantles in each room in the house, the two in the double drawing rooms are made of Carrara marble The Green-Meldrim House features an elegant curved stairway with a skylight above and oriel windows on the east side of the house which bring in light from three sides.
There are many unusual architectural features throughout the house. The front entrance has three sets of doors. The heavy outer double doors fold in and form a small closet on each side of the entrance. The second set of doors has glass panels to let in light and the third set of doors are louvered for ventilation.
The home remained in the possession of Charles Green until his death in 1881. His son, Edward Moon Green inherited the home and lived there for a number of years before selling it in 1892 to Judge Peter Meldrim, a former Savannah mayor and past president of the American Bar Association. The Green-Meldrim House was later sold to St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1943, and the former kitchens, servant’s quarters and stable now serve as the rectory for the church.