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The five squares along Bull Street—Monterey, Madison, Chippewa, Wright, and Johnson—were intended to be grand monument spaces and have been called Savannah's "Crown Jewels." Many of the other squares were designed more simply as commons or parks, although most serve as memorials as well.
Architect John Massengale has called Savannah's city plan "the most intelligent grid in America, perhaps the world", and Edmund Bacon wrote that "it remains as one of the finest diagrams for city organization and growth in existence." The American Society of Civil Engineers has honored Oglethorpe's plan for Savannah as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and in 1994 the plan was nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Additional squares were added during the late-18th and 19th centuries, and by 1851 there were 24 squares in the city.
In the 20th century, three of the squares were demolished or altered beyond recognition, leaving 21.
James (now Telfair) Squares, and themselves formed a larger square on the bluff overlooking the Savannah River.
The original plan actually called for six squares, and as the city grew the grid of wards and squares was extended so that 33 squares were eventually created on a five-by-two-hundred grid.
Greene died in 1786 and was buried in Savannah's Colonial Park Cemetery.
Each square sits (or, in some cases, sat) at the center of a ward, which often shares its name with its square.(Two points on this grid were occupied by Colonial Park Cemetery, established in 1750, and four others—in the southern corners of the downtown area—were never developed with squares.) When the city began to expand south of Gaston Street, the grid of squares was abandoned and Forsyth Park was allowed to serve as a single, centralized park for that area.All of the squares measure approximately 200 feet (61 m) from east to west, but they vary north to south from approximately 100 to 300 feet (91 m).The lots to the east and west of the squares, flanking the major east-west axis, were considered "trust lots" in the original city plan and intended for large public buildings such as churches, schools, or markets.The remainder of the ward was divided into four areas, called tythings, each of which was further divided into ten residential lots.
In 2010, one of the three "lost" squares, Ellis, was reclaimed.