Project Backer: City of Charleston Design Division
Over the past 37 years, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. has undertaken a major expansion of the public realm in downtown Charleston. Among those projects is Waterfront Park, a public space that changed life in downtown Charleston for residents and visitors alike.
In that same spirit of expanding the public realm, we propose a new public square, located not on the waterfront but centrally within the city. This would be a fully public park, not belonging to any one group, but open to visitors and residents alike. At 1.8 acres, this square could be large enough to significantly improve quality of life for Charleston.
Located at the junction of King, Spring and Columbus streets, this square would serve Cannonborough/Elliotborough, the East Side, West Side and Radcliffborough. Designed properly, it will also serve to host special events periodically and offset the effects of high-density development in this area. This New King St Square has the potential to add tremendous value for all people in Charleston for a very long time to come.
Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as the businesses and patrons who circulate in this part of the city on a regular basis. The upper area of King street and surrounding neighborhoods may also benefit from having some events from festivals brought to that area and not all concentrated in Marion Square.
HURDLES & CHALLENGES
The purchase of the land poses a large hurdle as well as any challenges that arise from an environmental impact study since the land is currently a U-haul site. Additional challenges may arise since this would be an urban park in the entertainment area of Charleston so additional policing may be needed.
Potential collaborators include surrounding neighborhood associations, nearby businesses, and The Park Conservancy.