June 2019 Park of the Month: Cannon Park

Cannon Park is one of Charleston’s most visible and recognizable parks. The park located on Calhoun Street sandwiched between Rutledge and Ashley Avenues offers a quieter park experience to that of the busier Marion Square just up the road. The park is visited daily by neighbors and students who enjoy spending their quiet mornings and warm afternoons walking their dogs and laying out in the grassy field.

Cannon Park offers plenty of great space for children and your favorite four-legged friends. The park allows for off-leash play for dogs and a shaded playground for kids under the oak trees. A sidewalk borders the perimeter of the park for runners and walkers looking for some exercise opportunities.

What separates Cannon Park from its neighboring peninsula parks are its four iconic Greek-style columns, which offer an irresistible photo-op for Charlestonians and visitors alike. What many do not know about these famous columns is that they are the last remnants of the old Charleston Museum.

In 1907, the then convention hall was leased to the College of Charleston to house its museum which was aptly titled the Charleston Museum. Then in October of 1981, the building was destroyed in a fire after the museum had moved the year prior to Meeting Street. The only surviving section of the museum were the four columns that stand before us today.

Interestingly some of the earliest design plans for Cannon Park were drafted by Frederick Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture in the 19th century. Although these early designs were never implemented the City of Charleston still possesses them in their historical records.

Cannon Park offers a friendly space for kids, neighbors, and dogs alike. Make sure to drop by this park wonder the next time you visit downtown Charleston.

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