Archive for May, 2015

The SW+ Legacy: Wannamaker Park

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Over the next few months, we will be sharing projects that have helped shaped our company over the past 30 years. These Legacy Projects will provide a behind-the-scenes perspective from the people who worked on them, and celebrate the impact we’ve made on the communities we serve.

The first Legacy Project our team has decided to feature is North Charleston Wannamaker County Park, the largest park in Charleston County Parks & Recreation’s system at 1,050 acres, and the first large scale park that SeamonWhiteside designed.

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Back in 1997, team members, Lee Gastley, Bill Eubanks and Steve Blackwell, combined their talents to develop and implement the park’s Master Plan. We caught up with Lee in the office earlier this week, and asked him for some insight into the Master Planning process. Lee had a few things to share:

– “In the process of laying out the two mile trail system, I ran across a mother alligator and her eight babies. They looked like little dinosaurs and the momma was NOT very happy to see me. I changed the route of the trail as a result of the meeting.”

– “While flagging the limits of the meadow one evening, I had a “casual” encounter with a bobcat. He looked at me and I at him and we both went on our merry ways. Pretty cool.”

– “The best part of designing a park like this is being able to provide the public access to nature in a manner that may not be typically available.” 

After the plans were drawn, design executed and animal encounters concluded, Charleston residents were presented with a vibrant new park to enjoy for many years to come. In 1997, SeamonWhiteside was fortunate to win an award from the South Carolina chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the park’s Master Planning. Go team! 

With nearly 1,050 acres of woodlands and wetlands, Wannamaker Park is a nature oriented facility designed for families and groups. The landscape includes 7.5 acres of grass meadows, picnic shelters, playgrounds, access to fishing and miles of paved trails for hiking, running and biking.

A couple of years after the park opened, the idea of adding a waterpark was discussed. SW+ was excited to help build on the success of the park with the planning and construction of Whirlin’ Waters, the county’s largest waterpark facility.

These days, visitors including many SeamonWhiteside employees continue to enjoy all of the activities the facility has to offer. Below are a few photos from the first days of the park’s opening. We love seeing generations of families enjoying the space! 

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