A really nice piece in the New York Daily News over the weekend: Hip to be Square: Its many little parks make historic Savannah the place to be
From the reflection by Joe Dziemianowicz, who was recently in town with his partner:
When it comes to painstaking and loving preservation, Savannah is a jewel box — actually 22 of them. The historic district, which measures about 2 1/2 square miles, comprises 22 lush garden-like little parks that were the brainchild of 18th century city planner James Oglethorpe.
Think of Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, minus the forbidding fences and locked gates and with Spanish moss dangling lazily from the branches of ancient oak trees.
Monterey Square is probably the most trafficked of the 22. It is home to the Mercer-Williams House, which was designed in the 1800s for the great-grandfather of Johnny Mercer, the songwriter famous for pop standards from “Moon River” to “Fools Rush In.”
But each square has its own personality, statues, stories and claims to fame.
Like Johnson Square, the oldest, which dates to 1733. Approaching the little green space, we figured that the monument standing tall was for somebody named Johnson. Not so. The monument is to Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene.
Of course, Monterey Square doesn’t see anywhere near as much traffic as, say, Ellis Square, but oh well.
But I like how the piece focuses so much on the squares. The piece also nods to the ongoing fascination with John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Tourists don’t come to town just because of The Book in the numbers they used to — it’s almost 20 years old after all. But the interest might never fully fade.
From my own Instagram account, a shot of Madison Square with the Jasper statue, one of the squares given special attention in the piece: