Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Machen Square East
City of Brunswick
Machen Square originally called “Machen Place,” is the northernmost of the original colonial squares along Newcastle Street. For the century of the city’s existence, there was little development on either side of Machen Square. In the 1880s, landmark structures were built adjacent to and near Machen Square, and its importance in the city’s history was permanently established.
A Dramatic Neighbor
Maritime and industrial prosperity inspired a wave of civic improvement in Brunswick during the 1880s. In 1899, a new red brick and stone Grand Opera House (above) was built on the same as Machen Square. The “castle wall” roofline was as dramatic as the performance inside. A row of shops extended along the theater’s street frontage. Push cart vendors sold ice cream and other treats to theater-goers in Machen Square East during the summer months.
In the mid-1920s, the Grand Opera House was sold and transformed into an Art Deco-style movie palace, renamed the Ritz Theater (below).The roof extensions were removed to create a square façade, and a cascading glass sign was installed. When the building
A Growing Skyline
A 1920s view of downtown Brunswick (below) shows a rapidly expanding , modern city. The Oglethorpe Hotel and the smokestack of its power-generating plant dominate the skyline. The original diagonal walkway through Machen Square East can be clearly seen from above. Photo courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia Collection, gly240.
Best View in Town
For many years, the “pocket parks” along Newcastle Street served as prime viewing areas for a small-town favorite activity-parades. Through the years, citizens of Brunswick enjoyed watching processions of everything from sailors and W.A.V.E.S. from NAS Glynco (top) to smiling beauty queens pass by Machen Square. Parade photos courtesy of Golden Isles Arts & Humanities Association.
In 2011, Signature Squares of Brunswick began the ambitious task of creating a beautiful park in Machen Square East. All previous paving and plant materials
In 1771, the city of Brunswick. Georgia was laid out according to "the Oglethorpe Plan," named after the colony's founder. General James Edward Oglethorpe. The design featured a grid of 14 large and small squares. The intention of the plan was to create permanent, park-like common areas throughout the city. The squares still bear their original names, which reveal Brunswick's strong historic ties to England.
Signature Squares of Brunswick, a non-profit organization founded to restore and preserve the parks and squares within the historic district of Brunswick, gratefully acknowledges the research contributions of Mia Knight Nichols and the support of the City of Brunswick: Delong-Sweet Foundation: The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., Magnolia Garden Club; Jekyll Island Authority; Friends of Coastal Georgia History: Downtown Development Authority; Plum Creek Foundation; Jerry Spencer, ASLA, Landscape Architect.
Erected 2011 by Signature Squares of Brunswick.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Art Deco series list.
Location. 31° 8.989′ N, 81° 29.725′ W. Marker is in Brunswick, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on Newcastle Street (U.S. 25) north of Gloucester Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brunswick GA 31520, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bernice Echols Grant (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Machen Square East (a few steps from this marker); Machen Square West (within shouting distance of this marker); Jekyll Square East (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jekyll Square West (about 500 feet away); Brunswick's "Liberty Ships" (about 700 feet away); World War II Memorial (about 700 feet away); Dedicated to the Veterans of 1898 -1902 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brunswick.
Also see . . . Signature Squares of Brunswick. (Submitted on September 6, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 6, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. 7, 8, 9. submitted on September 10, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. 10, 11, 12. submitted on September 17, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.