Theodora Park Brings More Beauty to Downtown Charleston

The citizens of Charleston and visitors to the city have another beautifully transformed park space to enjoy this summer, thanks to the City of Charleston, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and generous donors.

The City of Charleston and Charleston resident David Rawle contributed to the renovation and raised private funds for the $540,000 makeover of what was formerly the Ansonborough Tot Lot at the corner of George and Anson streets in downtown Charleston, across from the Gaillard Center. Designed by Charleston landscape architects Wertimer and Associates, the park has been renamed Theodora Park, in honor of Rawle’s mother, Theodora C. Rawle.

Mayor Joe Riley will help dedicate Theodora Park on June 6, 2015. The Charleston Parks Conservancy assisted in the project and will help maintain the park after completion, with Park Angel volunteers caring for the plants, watering and more.

Highlights of the park include a wrought-iron gate designed and made by Charleston artisan and blacksmith Philip Simmons. The park has unique benches and is planted with Palmetto trees, sasanquas, emerald goddess lily turf, azaleas, holly fern, Japanese maples and redbud trees.

One of the magical elements of the park is the fountain pool made of 370 12-inch by 12-inch handmade tiles designed and crafted by ceramic artist Paul Heroux, whose work is seen in several museum collections. The tiles take on different hues throughout the day and evening.

Heroux says his inspiration for the tiles came from the formal boxwood hedges in Charleston, as well as the rich green glazes used in old Italian tiles. Heroux, who lives in Maine, spent two years creating the tiles for this pool.

Theodora Park is a part of the City of Charleston’s park system that is comprised of more than 120 parks and green spaces. It will be cared for by the Charleston Parks Conservancy and Park Angel volunteers through the Conservancy’s Garden in the Parks program. The Conservancy has established a Theodora Park Care Fund to help it maintain this beautiful park at the highest horticultural level.

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