Joe Riley Waterfront Park Dedication
Charleston Parks Conservancy and the City of Charleston have announced a public celebration to rededicate Charleston’s Waterfront Park in honor of former Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. by officially renaming the park to Joe Riley Waterfront Park. The event will take place April 28, 2018 on the park’s Vendue Plaza and include remarks from Mayor John Tecklenburg and former Mayor Riley as well as a special performance by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
“Waterfront Park is where we find the fullest realization of Mayor Riley’s vision, the truest expression of the ideas and ideals that guided him through forty years of public service,” said John J. Tecklenburg, Mayor of Charleston. “That’s why this renaming of Waterfront Park is so appropriate, and such a fitting tribute to his extraordinary legacy.”
Charleston City Council voted in 2015 to rename the park to honor Riley’s central role in creating the City’s most visited park. Since then, the Charleston Parks Conservancy and the City have undertaken a project to recognize the park’s new name with commemorative elements that will be unveiled during the April 28 event and reflect the former mayor’s dedication to parks and public spaces.
“Joe Riley Waterfront Park is a fitting name for this public space, which says so much about Joe Riley as a visionary leader who pursued the highest quality for our city, and we think these new additions to the park will help future generations understand his commitment to great parks as a foundation of a strong and just community,” said Harry Lesesne, Executive Director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy, which led the creation of the additions to the park.
The eight-acre park currently spans one-half mile of the Cooper River waterfront, is visited by more than four million people annually and features unobstructed views of some of the city’s most recognized landmarks, including the Cooper River Bridge, U.S.S. Yorktown, Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor.
Lowe is a major sponsor of the rededication project and is planning an expansion of the park in conjunction with the construction of a full-service hotel at 176 Concord St. on the current site of the South Carolina State Ports Authority offices. Plans for the that project include extending the Joe Riley Waterfront Park’s riverwalk by approximately 400 feet, starting at the site of the park’s north entrance on Concord St and ending at Cumberland St. The project will also enlarge dock access facilities from a single water taxi dock drop-off to a day dock facility for the public. Lowe will break ground in January 2019 and plans to complete the project by early 2021.
“It was the vision of Mayor Riley that created Waterfront Park and together with all Charlestonians we at Lowe pledge our best efforts in achieving the next phase of Mayor Riley’s dream, the continued expansion of the park providing additional public access to Charleston’s waterfront,” said Dan Battista, Lowe’s senior vice president of development in Charleston.
Stay up to date on details about the park dedication ceremony at the event’s Facebook page.