A New Urban Design, Marion Square
The design goal was to provide a sense of arrival into the city by enclosing and defining the square and creating vistas.
Mixing building use, traffic management and parking, and designing the sidewalks to become outdoor rooms were some of the strategies used in the design. The new buildings envisioned include a new residential hotel based on the model of the old Charleston Hotel, along with mixed-use buildings with retail, office and residential. Sponsored by neighborhood groups, this was a grass-roots effort, intended to spark debate and provide a positive model for future development of the area.
This reinforced our concept of engaging directly with citizens who care deeply about their city before design ever begins. They gave us the chance to express our personal ideals, without censor, with the knowledge that the general public was behind us all the way.
It was Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons whose talents and generosity actually pulled the vision together. They conducted a design charrette at the College of Charleston with local architects...and agreed that the heart of Charleston needed a classical center to preserve its international reputation as a great classical city.
Charleston City Guardian