Waterfront Park - Charleston

CharlestonWaterfrontPark_feature.jpg
Charleston, SC
United States
Waterfront Park - Charleston

In 1979, Mayor Joseph Riley hired Sasaki Associates, led by Stuart Dawson and working with Ed Pinckney and Jacquelin Robertson, to plan a revitalization of a stretch of the Cooper River waterfront, starting with an eight-acre linear park. To reconnect downtown with the waterfront, existing city streets were extended as pedestrian walks toward the water, and four blocks of Concord Street on the park’s western edge were closed to traffic. The former roadway was replaced with a wide brick path lined with eight small gardens and shaded by four rows of live oaks. The park’s center is open lawn, with a formal paved plaza featuring a large cast-stone and bronze pineapple fountain. Historic Adger’s Wharf anchors the southern edge of the park, with a short pier and overlook that extends into the river. The park’s north end includes a bluestone-paved plaza and an at-grade splash fountain with arcing water jets. From the plaza, a 300-foot long fishing pier projects into the river, lined with an open-air shade structure covering picnic tables and wooden swings. The pier terminates in Vendue Wharf, a 400-foot long pier with seating which runs parallel to the riverbank. A gravel promenade lined with palmetto trees and benches runs from north to south along the water’s edge. Parking was relocated into two nearby parking garages, and five acres of restored salt marshes create an informal, naturalistic transition between the park and river. Dedicated in 1990, the park’s presence has triggered new development and the reclamation of vacant property.