On October 4th, 1814, a clerk dipped his pen into an inkstand, and made a boldly scripted entry in the Records of Montgomery County.
His entry showed that one Philip Gunckel had filed a plat plan for the Village of Germantown.
It was a unique design, laid off in eight blocks which were twenty perches (330 feet) square, running from Mulberry Street to Walnut Street, and from Market Street to Back (Warren) Street.
Each block was divided by a diagonal alley system, the hub of which was a central open space some 66 feet square.
While the clerk failed to set down Philip Gunckel's rationale for the plan, it seems clear that the village's precise and methodical German settlers wanted their building fronts close to uncluttered streets, with buggies parked and horses stables in the rear. The central square not only served as a turn-around space, but also as a beckoning place where children gathered to play.