Monterey Square was laid out in 1847 and commemorates the Battle of Monterrey (1846), in which American forces under General Zachary Taylor captured the city of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. (Yes, for some reason the Square is spelled differently than the city) In the center of the square is an 1852 monument honoring General Casimir Pulaski.
The cornerstone of the monument was laid by
Lafayette in 1825.
Deterioration of the Pulaski monument was noted as early as 1912, and
pieces began to fall in the 1990s. Restoration of the monument was
completed in 2001. The body of an unknown Revolutionary soldier is said
to be buried beneath Pulaski's monument. Some have speculated that
Pulaski himself is buried there, although he is generally believed to
have been buried at sea.
Monterey Square is the site of Mercer House
, built by Hugh Mercer and more recently the home of antiques dealer and restorationist Jim Williams. The house, and the square itself, were featured prominently in John Berendt's 1994 true crime novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The square has been used as a setting for several motion pictures, including the 1997 film version of Berendt's novel.
Monterey Square is located on Bull, between Taylor and Gordon
Streets, and is widely considered to be the most picturesque of
Savannah's squares. All of the surrounding buildings but one (the United Way Building) are original to the square.