Perry Square was originally part of the plan for the City of Erie which was laid out in 1795 by famed federal surveyor Andrew Ellicott, the same man who took over the plan for completing Washington D.C. The area now occupied by the park was then forest wilderness and a deep ravine ran through it from south to north. In 1911, on the eve of the centennial celebration of Perry's 1813 victory in the battle of Lake Erie, the park was formally named "Perry Square".
The first courthouse erected in Erie County was built in the west park in 1808. It and all of its contents were destroyed by fire in 1823. A new courthouse was then erected in the west park in 1825. This courthouse was on the east side of the west park and faced State Street. In 1854 this courthouse was replaced with what is now the west wing of the Erie County Courthouse on West Sixth Street. A market house was also erected in the west park in 1814. These buildings were removed in 1866.
An ornate band pavilion was built in the center of the west section of the park in 1873. It was removed in 1886. Park fountains were erected in 1868 in both the east and the west sections of the park. The east park fountain was replaced with a gazebo in 1988. Between 2008 and 2017, Perry Square received a multi-phased renovation including a new Pavilion, renovated Edison Fountain,
redesigned sidewalks, State Street and corner gateways, landscaping and electrical and lighting systems.
In 1872 the Soldiers and Sailors monument was erected in honor of those Erie County residents who gave their lives to preserve the Union. A statue of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was erected in the east park and was dedicated on the bicentennial of Commodore Perry's birth, August 23, 1985.