Historic Savannah, GA square reopens

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For more than 55 years, Savannah counted Ellis Square among its lost historic treasures.

Of the city's 22 public squares, Ellis Square was one of the first plotted in 1733. Since 1872, it was home to the City Market where farmers sold crops directly to shoppers.

Then came the wrecking ball. Ellis Square and the market were demolished in 1954 to make way for a new four-story parking garage. The loss was a flashpoint that galvanized citizens to organize Savannah's historic preservation movement.

Now, more than a half-century later, Ellis Square has been resurrected. The city spent nearly $32 million and more than four years bringing back the 1.5-acre square after razing the parking deck in 2005 and building an underground garage in its place.

"This is a proud day in the history of Savannah," Mayor Otis Johnson said after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony held Thursday despite pouring rain. "It's been a long time coming."...

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