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The 24 Squares of Savannah

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At its founding in 1733, Savannah became the first North American city planned around public squares. In accordance with General Oglethorpe’s grand design for his new capital city, Savannah was built upon four squares, which served as gardens and meeting areas. The western and eastern sides of each square were reserved for public buildings, such as churches and government offices, while the northern and southern ends were for private residences, called tything blocks.

Savannah was the original capital of Georgia, the last of the Thirteen Colonies, and its perfectly logical design made it instantly famous around the world. The plan was far-sighted, allowing for over a century of growth, always replicating the square system. By the mid 19th century, there were a total of 24 city squares.

From the largest (Johnson) to the smallest (Crawford), each of Savannah’s squares has its own history — even the two which have been lost to progress (Liberty and Elbert). The city plan really appeals to my logical side, and we hope to fully explore each one during our three months here, and learn their stories and secrets.

1. Franklin
2. Ellis
3. Johnson
4. Reynolds
5. Warren
6. Washington
7. Liberty (lost)
8. Telfair
9. Wright
10. Oglethorpe
11. Columbia
12. Greene
13. Elbert (lost)
14. Orleans
15. Chippewa
16. Crawford
17. Pulaski
18. Madison
19. Lafayette
20. Troup
21. Chatham
22. Monterey
23. Calhoun
24. Whitefield

Best Prices for Car Rentals in Savannah

November 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm Comments (11)

The Road to Savannah

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At about 3pm yesterday afternoon, Juergen and I parked our bashed and battered car in front of our new Savannah home, and pulled our exhausted corpses up the front steps. We had arrived, having survived an intense week of traveling, visiting family and hanging out with friends.

Savannah Tree

Our dog Chucky made it, too. The flight from Madrid to Chicago was long, and she had spent every minute howling in the dark solitude of the cargo bay. When her crate arrived into customs, I released her from confinement, picked her up for a big hug, and let her lick my face frantically, realizing far too late that she was covered in puke. Though there’s no evidence for it, I’ve convinced myself that she must have vomited at the very end of the flight, and that she didn’t spend ten terrifying, turbulent hours rolling around in her own mess.

Our first week in the states flew by. Chicago, Denver, Louisville, Carlisle (KY), and Springfield (OH). We ate and drank like pigs, played with the hundreds of little children our friends have been spawning over the past decade, and partied like jet-lagged guys in their mid-thirties, making it past midnight exactly once. It was fun, and on November 1st we prepared for the twelve-hour drive to Savannah.

Step One: Back the car up into the driveway, so that it’s easier to pack.
Step Two: Call my parents to explain how I smashed their car into a fire hydrant.
Step Three: Duct tape.

But somehow, driving to Savannah with a duct-taped bumper and smashed-up door frame made me feel more authentically American.

Otherwise, the drive went smoothly, and we’re now installed in our new home, anxious to get out and explore the city. Our 91 days in Savannah are underway. As was the case in Oviedo, we’d love to hear suggestions and advice from our readers. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our RSS Feed or Email List. And leave comments!

We’ll post again later today, with our initial impressions of Savannah. It’s been 10 years since I lived in the USA, and I’ve never spent much time in the South — I think this is going to be an incredible, fascinating three months.

Savannah Sign
Savannah Swamp
Savannah Bridge

Hotels in Savannah

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November 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm Comments (11)

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