This post is a bit out of sequence. I was supposed to write a closing post for last semester’s work over the break, but that never happened. The main reason is I needed a break as much as the students did, but also, the topic I was going to write about changed in my head from day to day. Many things have transpired surrounding the Corinne Jones Park since the students made their final presentation on December 5th of last semester. I will try to re-frame the past months happenings as I remember them below:
Dec. 12: Robert Behre of the Post and Courier joined us for our final review at the Corrine Jones Parks and wrote a nice article in his weekly column on architecture and preservation. You can read it here. The article well described our joint effort with the city’s department of parks and the Charleston Parks Conservancy in rehabilitating the Wagener Terrace neighborhood park.
Dec. 21: The Post and Courier printed a letter to the editor titled “Risky Design” that had criticisms of our shade and seating structure in the park (you can read the letter here). Although we at the CAC.C don’t agree with most of the authors observations, it was welcomed criticism.
Dec.22: After the letter to the editor on the 21st, Dustin Clemens who works for the City of Charleston, contacted me with his concerns with the recycled tumbled glass we used between the concrete paving stones. A concern I also shared, the glass did not compact as we had hoped and had spread over the paving stones creating a slip hazard. It was decided that the area must be fenced off until a suitable fix was made. I went that day and removed the tumbled glass from the sidewalk with the help of several Wagener Terrace Neighbors. Below is the picture sent to me from Dustin:
Dec. 28: The city installed a crushed sea shell material between the concrete pads that compacts much better than the glass. Although this solution is not as interesting as the glass, it functions well. I hope to further test using tumbled glass in this type of application in the future though. I think that adding some type of additive, like a resin or glue will help solidify and make it a viable option. Below is a picture of the crushed sea shell:
Jan. 4: The Post and Courier printed a letter to the editor titled “Clemson Center” wirtten by the director of the CAC.C, Ray Huff. This letter was written in response to the “Risky Design” letter to help clarify the CAC.C’s involvement with the Corrine Jones Park renovations and to emphasize the CAC.C’s commitment to serving our communities and blending rigorous academic excellence with real-project experience (you can read the letter here).
Jan. 14: The Post and Courier printed a letter to the editor titled “Memory Park” written by a resident on the Wagener Terrace community in response to the “Risky Design” article. This author’s letter had an interesting take on the current view on risk and consequence (you can read the letter here).
I am extremely pleased with all of the talk, the good and the bad, about what the students created for the Corinne Jones Park. The fact that they made something of significance within a city the size of Charleston speaks volumes about all of the hard work and dedication that was put in over the past four months. It would have been easy to have designed “within the box” and just provided seats for the park that no one would have noticed, but to have people passionately discuss the project makes all the hard work worthwhile.
I, along with the rest of the Wagener Terrace Community are eager for the completion of the park this spring. With the Parks Conservancies addition of landscaping I think this will be the premier park in Charleston. I expect revisiting past projects is going to be a common occurrence from me over the upcoming years. With many of the projects we do in Studio V having a permanent or re-usable nature, their presence and importance will often span past their completion, and warrant further conversation on this blog.