You are here

Franklin Square and St. Julian Street Pedestrian Mall/City Market

-A A +A
1790-1791; 1935-1937 partially destroyed; 1985 restored, Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects. Bounded by Montgomery, W. Bryan, and W. Congress sts. 1985, Gunn Meyerhoff Shay Architects. W. St. Julian St., between Franklin and Ellis sqs.

In keeping with the squares in the city's eastern expansion wards, Franklin Square is roughly half the size of those within Oglethorpe's original six wards. From 1853 to the early twentieth century it was marked by an 87-foot-tall brick and iron water tower. Franklin, Liberty, and Elbert squares were largely obliterated by the transformation of Montgomery Street into U.S. 17 between 1935 and 1937, but Franklin Square—a gathering place for day laborers for decades, both before and after its destruction—was restored in 1985. In 2007 a monument to Haitian Volunteers (James Mastin, sculptor) who fought in the Battle of Savannah in 1779 was erected in the center of the square.

In conjunction with the reclamation of Franklin Square, the City closed a two-block section of St. Julian Street to automobile traffic in 1985 and, in a successful attempt to lure shoppers to return to the downtown, leased the street to a retail management company that calls the outdoor mall "City Market"—invoking the spirit of the lamented market structure in nearby Ellis Square, which was demolished in 1954. The commercial buildings lining this mall date from the 1840s to the early twentieth century. Unlike many conversions of main streets to pedestrian-only spaces in the 1970s, City Market has been highly effective in attracting both locals and tourists to its shops, outdoor cafes, and informal performance spaces.

Writing Credits

Author: 
David Gobel
Coordinator: 
Robin B. Williams
×

Data

Timeline

  • 1790

    Built
  • 1935

    Partially destroyed
  • 1985

    Restoration

What's Nearby

Citation

David Gobel, "Franklin Square and St. Julian Street Pedestrian Mall/City Market", [Savannah, Georgia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/GA-01-SA09.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,