Laid out in 1841, Crawford is the only of Savannah’s squares with recreational equipment: a basketball court, won after a 1946 Savannah-wide basketball competition. Found on Houston Street, the square was named after native Savannahian William Harris Crawford, who was Secretary of the Treasury and ran unsuccessfully for President in 1824.
All of the squares in Savannah were fenced in at one time, but only Crawford remains so. It’s also retained its cistern, from the days when Savannah’s fire department kept a station in every square. The fence, the cistern and the basketball court give Crawford a distinctly unique feel to it. Compared to the rest of Savannah’s squares, only Ellis Square is less “standard”. Still, with a gazebo in the center and azaleas that bloom in spring, Crawford definitely manages to charm.
During the days of Jim Crow, when segregation was the law of the land, Crawford was the only square which blacks were allowed to use. It’s a historically black neighborhood, and today a very quiet, peaceful one. But “peaceful” probably isn’t how Crawford was described a few years ago — none other than the fabulous Lady Chablis used to call it home. I doubt anything within a two-mile radius of her could be considered “peaceful”.
Check out our pictures of one of Savannah’s least appreciated, and most unique squares.
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January 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm Comment (1)
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Named after revolutionary hero Nathaniel Greene (whose monument and burial site is at Johnson Square), Greene Square on Houston Street was laid out in the 1790s and for a long time was the center of Savannah’s black population. With a number of beautiful homes encircling it, it’s one of the more enchanting squares in the city.
The Second African Baptist Church on the northeast side was built in 1802. Though destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1925, it retains much of its original interior, such as its benches, chairs and pulpit. This is where General Sherman famously promised each freed slave “40 acres and a mule” after the Civil War.
Pay attention for signs around the square which reveal the pre-revolution street names. President Street was originally King Street, and Congress Street was Prince Street. Other signs highlight about Greene Square’s homes. The house on 521 East York Street was built from the famous Savannah gray bricks of the Hermitage Plantation, and at 124 Houston, there’s an early 19th-century wood and stucco house built by Isaiah Davenport; one of the prominent architect’s few remaining structures in Savannah.
Greene Square itself has no monuments or fountains; it’s basically a plain green park. But it’s rich in contrast, and the charm of the houses which surround it make it one of the must-see squares in Savannah. Especially in the afternoon sun, Greene Square is photogenic from just about every angle.
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January 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm Comments (3)