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15 Minutes Away on Foot: Tour the Mercer Williams House

June 6, 2011

This week, we highlight the Mercer Williams House located on Monterey Square, at the intersection of Bull Street and West Gordon Street. The physical address of the Mercer Williams House is 429 Bull Street.

Mercer Williams House. Photo by Author.

The Mercer Williams House was designed by John S. Norris, who also designed the Andrew Low House, for General Hugh Weedon Mercer (Johnny Mercer’s great grandfather) in 1860. The house was not completed until 1868, as construction was interrupted by the Civil War. Despite being named the Mercer Williams House, no member of the Mercer family ever resided at the residence. In 1969, after sitting vacant for 10 years, Jim Williams, an early Savannah preservationist (and “star” of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), purchased and restored the house as his primary residence. The carriage house, which now serves as the house museum’s gift shop and ticket office, was used by Williams as his restoration shop and office.

The house is now partially open to the public as a museum. Tours of the property are limited to the ground floor of the carriage house, the courtyard, and main level of the house. The second floor of the property is not part of the tour, as Dr. Dorothy Kingery, Williams’ sister, maintains that portion of the house as her private residence.

The Mercer Williams House is open Monday – Saturday 10:30 AM to 4:10 PM. On Sundays the house is open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Guided tours of the house are $12.50 per person.

Getting to the Mercer Williams House from the Catherine Ward House Inn by foot is easy. From door to door, it takes as little as 5-7 minutes to walk between the two.

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