Charleston White Point Gardens Renovations

The Bandstand at White Point Gardens is one of the most recognized structures in Charleston. Its charming setting among graceful live oaks near Charleston Harbor makes it a frequent subject of photo's and painting's of Historic Charleston.
Yesterday (3.3.09), the City of Charleston announced an $885,000 project to improve White Point Gardens which includes plans to renovate and restore the 102 yr. old bandstand. A $273,500 contract will include repairs to the 1907 structure's brickwork and will lower the base from its present 6 ft. elevation to the original 3 ft.

I'm posting my recent ink drawing of the bandstand with its 6 foot tall platform rising from ground. I'll need to redraw the structure in the future when the base of the bandstand is lowered 3 feet.

Although it will be nice to see the restoration, I wonder if the bandstand will look quite as grand or provide as nice a view when it's lowered 3 feet to the ground.

Hopefully the White Point Garden renovation plan can be modified to include the long overdue placement of a plaque to identify the Charleston Children's Fountain (click here for article) and its beloved "Little Dancer" bronze statue by Charleston sculptor Willard N. Hirsch.


Mary R said...

Hello Kay,
When was the "Little Dancer" statue made and when was it placed in the park?
I lived in Charleston as a 6-9 year-old from 1958-1961 and seem to remember the delightful statue in the park during that time period. Am I correct?
We returned to Charleston in 1965 and I lived there until 1980 often visiting the Battery Park and visiting the statue.

It must have been because my Mother, Helen T. Pstrak, is an artist that she must have cared about knowing who the sculptor was and spoke of him with admiration and affection when she told me that the lovely "Little Dancer" statue was sculpted by Willard Hirsch. I seem to remember knowing this fact from a young age. It delighted me whenever I visited the Battery Park. It emanates such joy de vivre.

After experiencing a sculpture that touched my heart as a child, it may have inspired me to love sculpture and art the rest of my life. I work at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. I have always looked forward to taking my children, now ages 23 and 21, to see my dancing friend whenever we came home to Charleston for a visit from Fort Worth, TX.
March 04, 2009

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Hi Mary,
The "Little Dancer" Statue at the Children's Fountain in White Point Gardens was cast in bronze and installed in the park in 1962. The statue and fountain were dedicated "to all the children of Charleston" by a generous Charleston benefactor.

Thanks for your comments about visiting the statue with your artist mother and the influence these visits had on your lifelong love of sculpture and art.

I agree that the statue "emanates a joie de vivre". It also served as the City of Charleston's official symbol during the National "Year of the Child " Celebration.

Thanks for visiting the blog and adding your interesting personal comments.
It's always nice to hear from friends in high places :).

Anonymous said...

The band stand is completely made of cast iron and the cast were done by Riley iron works in 1902. Does anyone know if this is desendents of the present mayor and what the cost was back then to cast the colums and upper arches? And, where was Riley iron works foundry?


Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Hi David,
Dr. Nicholas Butler, Manager of The Charleston Archive at the Charleston County Public Library was kind enough to provide historical data on the bandstand. Dr. Butler states that the bandstand was a gift from the Carrington-Williams family to the City of Charleston in 1906.
The bandstand was built and dedicated in Honor of Mrs. Williams in the summer of 1907.

Where did you get the information that the bandstand was cast in 1902?
While it is certainly possible that a bandstand may have been cast at that date, it is several years prior to the proposal by Mr. W.P. Carrington to build one in White Point Gardens.

According to city directories of the early 1900's, John F. Riley operated a foundry on South Street in Chas. For information about this foundry and estimated construction costs of the bandstand, see the post "White Point Gardens Renovation Progress Aug. 2009".
Thanks for your comment.

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