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Squares of Savannah

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

2500 Dean Forest Rd, Savannah, GA 31408, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Explore the Squares of Savannah early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and experience the tranquil beauty of the canopies and historical monuments. Don't miss the hidden gem of Chippewa Square, where locals know to find the best spot for a quiet read or an impromptu picnic."

What is Squares of Savannah?

The Squares of Savannah are the quintessence of Southern charm and one of the most iconic features of this historic city. These 22 squares form a network of communal spaces that serve as the city's lungs, providing oases of calm amidst the oak-lined streets. They're not just patches of greenery—they're living rooms where history and modernity embrace, where each square tells its own tale and evokes a sense of the past with statues, memorials, and, of course, the legendary Spanish moss draping from the trees.

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Visiting these squares, you'll notice that they're each named after a person of historical significance or a historical event, and they are often anchored by a monument central to the square. Accented with benches and surrounded by antebellum mansions, churches, inns, and other monumental architecture, the squares are picturesque snapshots of Southern history and culture, so intrinsic to Savannah's identity that you can almost hear the echoes of horse-drawn carriages and whispers of past conversations in the breeze.

History of Squares of Savannah

The storied history of these communal spaces begins with Savannah's founding in 1733. General James Oglethorpe designed the city with a unique grid pattern known as the Oglethorpe Plan. This innovative design included multiple squares that would serve as community centers and meeting places for the residents. This layout was quite progressive for its time and demonstrated a deep understanding of the importance of public spaces in urban planning.

Over the years, as Savannah expanded, so did the number of squares, reaching a total of 24 by the mid-19th century. While two squares, Elbert and Liberty, were lost due to urban development, the remaining squares have been carefully preserved and restored, solidifying their place as symbols of Savannah's commitment to its history and community values. This maintenance of the squares through centuries underscores their importance as a historical and cultural inheritance, prized by both locals and visitors alike.

As you walk through these squares, you will be treading the same paths once walked by figures such as General Oglethorpe, Juliette Gordon Low, and many others whose influences have shaped not just Savannah, but in ways, the nation. Savannah's preservation efforts have seen that each square remains a testament to the times and people that it represents, often hosting plaques or other interpretive materials that provide deeper insights into the city's storied past.

Why is Squares of Savannah Important?

The importance of the Squares of Savannah cannot be overstated. They are more than just public parks; they are the heart of Savannah's urban identity and a living museum of its history. The city's squares play a pivotal role in community life, hosting everything from local art fairs and open-air concerts to informal social gatherings and wedding ceremonies. They accentuate the importance of public spaces for cultural expression and civic engagement.

Moreover, the squares contribute to the city's reputation as a leading destination for historic preservation and tourism. They're a constant reminder of the city's ability to integrate green space with urban growth—a harmony that many modern cities struggle to maintain. By protecting these squares, Savannah showcases a high standard of respect for the past while continuing to grow and evolve.

From a historical perspective, each square stands as a monument to different aspects of Savannah's growth—from anti-slavery movements memorialized in Franklin Square to the heroic tales of Revolutionary and Civil War figures honored in Pulaski Square. These spaces bind the present to the past, inviting reflection and education, while the shade of their majestic live oaks offers a tranquil respite to visitors and locals alike.

Things to Do & See at Squares of Savannah

Each square is a unique gem, offering a variety of experiences. Some of the most renowned include Chippewa Square, where the famous "Forrest Gump" bench scene was filmed, and Forsyth Park, which, while technically not one of the networked squares, is an extension of the same concept on a larger scale and features the iconic Forsyth Fountain.

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Engage with the city's history through the many statues and monuments, like the James Oglethorpe monument in Chippewa Square or the serene setting of Calhoun Square, named after Vice President John C. Calhoun. Discover the whispered secrets of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil at Monterey Square, where the Mercer-Williams house stands, part of the grand narrative that has thrilled readers and visitors.

Revel in the local culture by attending one of the many events that take place in the squares throughout the year, from the Savannah Jazz Festival to numerous art and craft fairs. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a picnic, or simply sit on a bench and watch people pass by as you soak in the atmosphere. The squares are also surrounded by many boutiques, cafes, and galleries, contributing to the vibrant street life of Savannah.

And for an even deeper connection with the city, consider a guided walking tour. Some of these tours dive into specific themes, such as haunted histories or architectural marvels, allowing you to see the squares through a more focused lens. With every step, you'll gain a greater appreciation for the multifaceted tapestry of life that is woven into the heart of Savannah.

Frequently asked questions

What are the Squares of Savannah?

The Squares of Savannah are a collection of 22 picturesque squares located throughout the historic district of Savannah, Georgia. They are part of the original town plan designed by James Oglethorpe in 1733 and are famous for their beauty, historical significance, and the mix of homes, churches, and monuments that surround them.

Can you visit all Squares of Savannah in one day?

While it is possible to visit all 22 squares in one day, it would require a considerable amount of walking and may not leave much time to thoroughly enjoy and learn about each square. Visitors often choose to explore the squares over several days to fully appreciate the history and ambiance.

Are there guided tours available for the Squares of Savannah?

Yes, there are many guided tours available that cover the Squares of Savannah. These include walking tours, carriage tours, and trolley tours, which provide insights into the history and significance of the squares as well as the surrounding architecture and notable landmarks.

What are some popular events hosted in the Squares of Savannah?

The Squares of Savannah host a variety of popular events throughout the year including art shows, open-air concerts, cultural festivals, and holiday celebrations. The city's St. Patrick's Day festivities and Savannah Music Festival are particularly well-known.

Are the Squares of Savannah pet-friendly?

Yes, the Squares of Savannah are pet-friendly and a popular place for locals and visitors to walk their dogs. However, pets should be kept on a leash, and owners are expected to clean up after their pets to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the squares.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

2500 Dean Forest Rd, Savannah, GA 31408, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps