Charleston was just named “Best City in the World” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. With so many historic landmarks and sites of interest, the city is in a constant state of renewal and rebirth to preserve its distinct Southern charm. The rejuvenation of a few of downtown’s key attractions has been a highlight of summer 2016.
The renovation of Colonial Lake is complete and is now open to the public. The restoration was a joint partnership between the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the City of Charleston and the Historic Charleston Foundation. The project helped to improve the Colonial Lake basin, ensuring the water quality is more consistent with the Ashley River. Visitors will also notice landscaped gardens and shade trees around the lake, as well as an abundance of lighting. The selection of 58 benches and the seating wall along Rutledge Avenue are an invitation to relax and enjoy a favorite book. The newly renovated Colonial Lake is the perfect spot to enjoy Charleston’s beautiful weather!
After initially opening to the public in 1905, the Gibbes Museum underwent an approximately $13.5 million, two-year renovation, which was completed in May 2016. The first floor of the Gibbes is now freely accessible to the public and features an education center with classrooms, artist studios, lecture spaces, a café and store. The second and third floor gallery spaces were enlarged to allow display of 600 works from the museum’s permanent collection. It currently features vast collections of American Art from the 18th century to present. One highlighted exhibition is The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South, which features a diverse group of artists as they confront the challenging history and recent events in Charleston and the greater South through their artwork.
The Gaillard Center, Charleston’s original municipal auditorium, was built in 1968 and hosted the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto events and concerts for multiple years. Over the past three years, the 1800 – seat venue has undergone a $142-Million-dollar renovation and is now open to the public. The newly rejuvenated Gaillard Center is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and event lawns. Through the end of July, the gardens of the Gaillard will be displaying an art installation designed by the local architecture, design and preservation firm Meadors to raise awareness of the homeless in Charleston.