Makeover of Charleston's well-known Colonial Lake to begin next month


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CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The makeover of Colonial Lake, among the most iconic spots in Charleston, is expected to begin next month.

The Post and Courier reports ( that the $4 million project calls for new granite facing around the shore of the lake, new trails and new pipes to improve the water quality in the lake that connects to the Ashley River.

The lake and the surrounding park are often featured in paintings and photographs of Charleston.

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. says Charleston City Council considers a construction contract on Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, work will begin in January and should be finished in about a year.

The newspaper reports the project is the largest single improvement to the lake since the park was created 125 years ago. The work is being paid for by the city and by $1.2 million in private donations raised by the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

Harry Lesesne, the executive director of the conservancy, said the nonprofit has helped spruce up 25 parks. But he says the Colonial Lake project is the most ambitious since financier Darla Moore and her husband Richard Rainwater founded the organization seven years ago.

Riley noted there are now 26 benches around the lake, and the project will add 32 more. There will also be a wall with seating built in, creating the equivalent of 80 park benches.

"Colonial Lake is a special park that has always been a venue for families, walkers, joggers and residents who just want a peaceful spot to sit or read," Riley said. The project, he said, will create "an impressive park in the heart of our city."

After the park project, there will be other changes nearby on the southwest edge of the Charleston peninsula. There are plans to demolish a nearby vacant apartment building and create a mixed-use development on the site.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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