This 10 acre park, much improved as the result of a 2001 renovation, accommodates a number of different urban activities, including a popular farmer’s market, a new fountain, a performance area, and a number of historic monuments. Some of the uses of the park are large in impact although brief in duration, such as the annual Piccolo Spoleto Arts Festival, but there are also a number of smaller and more frequent neighborhood and citywide events held here, including the presence of the city’s Christmas tree. The space is flexible — the park can host large events without feeling crowded and can host small events without feeling deserted.
Marion Square occupies a crucial position in the urban structure of Charleston. The park serves a number of adjacent neighborhoods with a broad demographic. This space has a long history of public uses; it has been used as a military marching ground since before the revolutionary war and was the site of a celebratory parade by the city’s African-American residents after the civil war. The parade ground was reclaimed for public use in the recent renovation with new paths crossing the large green lawn. The edges of the park are shady and cool. The mixture of native and exotic plantings label their continent of origin, which evokes for the park user Charleston’s history as a major port.
CPC/Charleston Park angels are now assisting the City of Charleston’s Parks Department in the general care and upkeep of the raised rectangular beds in the Park. This included the month to month garden maintenance and bed renovations which are ongoing.