Downtown Squares

Downtown Savannah
Savannah, GA

Submitted by: Effie Stallsmith

A continuous park system running through the center of downtown Savannah.

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Why It Works

A set of continuous historic miniparks. These parks are each one square block with landmarks, flowers, benches and sidewalks that encourage visitors to explore and enjoy the individual uniqueness of each square.

What Makes Downtown Squares a Great Place?

Since it is in the heart of historic Savannah, it is used extensively by locals and visitors alike. It is extremely walkable and is served by transit. It is very pedestrian-friendly

The entire minipark system is a clean cool oasis in a typically hot southern town. The trees and plantlife provide shade and beauty.

Locals use the system to do daily walks, go shopping, read the paper, and visit with one another. Visitors come to see the beauty of the parks, their historic fountains and statues, to take pictures, and to appreciate how the pedestrian environment of the park system has been restored along with the surrounding buildings.

I have recommended this place to a number of folks and the FHWA attorneys selected it as the place to have their annunal meeting this year and came back with rave reviews.

History & Background

Savannah was laid out in 60'x 90' square blocks in repeating sequences and included square-like parks which were spaced two blocks apart. These parks, 24 in all, were laid out as early as 1733 and as late as 1851. Due to Savannah's dedication to preservation, twenty-one of the squares survive in practically their original form. Of the three remaining, Ellis Square is covered by a city parking garage, Elbert Square is covered by a small grassy area, and Liberty Square is home to the 'Flame of Freedom.'

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