Savannah’s mysterious historic plan

There’s an ongoing mystery that planners and urban historians have been trying to solve for over 100 years. How did an amateur planner forego centuries of established city design and implement a pattern that resulted in one of the most charming, walkable historic centers in the U.S.? For many, it’s just too hard to believe that he designed it out of thin air — there must’ve been an obvious precedent. Scholars have been searching for this precedent to solve this mystery since the 1800s.

The Making of Urban America, by John Reps:

Resources on this topic:
Oglethorpe’s Sources for the Savannah Plan, Bannister, 1961:

Savannah video courtesy of’s Moving Image Archive

Photo sources:
– Wikimedia Commons
– Flickr user Steven Martin


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