Historic Charleston Foundation gives $25,000 to Colonial Lake renovation

By Ashley Barker 
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 18, 2013

Historic Charleston Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Charleston Parks Conservancy to help fund a $5 million renovation of Colonial Lake.

In a news release, Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy, said of Tuesday’s donation, “This financial gift, as well as the overall support from the Historic Charleston Foundation, goes a long way toward fulfilling the vision for a renewed Colonial Lake. Our park projects depend on partners like Historic Charleston Foundation to join with us in our efforts to connect people to their parks.”

Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy, accepted a check Tuesday for $25,000 from Katharine S. Robinson, president and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation, for renovations planned for Colonial Lake. (Photo provided)
Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy, accepted a check Tuesday for $25,000 from Katharine S. Robinson, president and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation, for renovations planned for Colonial Lake. (Photo provided)

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The city of Charleston has contributed $4 million to the project, and the conservancy is raising the remaining $1 million from private sources to cover construction costs. An additional $200,000 will be needed to pay for ongoing park maintenance.

Charleston Parks Conservancy’s goal is to have $500,000 raised by April and $700,000 raised by September. Bids will be accepted in April, and construction is scheduled for May 2014 through July 2015.

The lake, located between Rutledge and Ashley avenues and Beaufain and Broad streets in downtown Charleston, will be given a new flushing system, so water within the basin will be more consistent with Ashley River. More paths, shade trees, lighting and gardens will be added to the area, along with extra seating and gathering spaces.

Rutledge and Ashley avenues will be slightly narrowed to slow down traffic and enhance pedestrian safety, according to the project’s plans (.pdf). Displays are also expected to be installed to explain the history of the lake.

Katharine S. Robinson, president and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation, said the park’s renovation will help ensure the area’s livability for generations.

“The Charleston Parks Conservancy is enhancing neighborhoods through the restoration and improvement of the city’s parks with the focus on their becoming thriving, community-focused areas,” Robinson said in a statement.

The foundation will be recognized for its gift with a garden marker, the release said.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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