The City Magazine Since 1975

Thanks, Joe!

Thanks, Joe!
April 2018

On April 28, the city celebrates Waterfront Park’s new name

Joe Riley looks out on Waterfront Park in 2010.

The Holy City’s most visited park—where millions of people a year fish, stroll, swing, and snag photo-ops at the iconic pineapple fountain—is finally ready to show off its new name. On Saturday, April 28, the City of Charleston and Charleston Parks Conservancy, with sponsor Lowe (which plans to expand the park as part of a Concord Street hotel development), hold a public dedication for “Joe Riley Waterfront Park.“

In late 2015, at the end of Riley’s 40-year tenure as mayor, Charleston City Council voted to name the Cooper River-front site for the man largely responsible for creating it. To honor Riley within the green space, city representatives; community leaders such as David Rawle, Capers Barr, and Harry Lesesne; and Sasaki and Associates, who originally designed the park, devised a poignant showcase. Near the Vendue Fountain, remarks from City Council were carved into a newly raised seat wall alongside a speech Riley gave at the landmark spot’s 1990 opening. ”We give this park most especially to those who need it most,” he said. ”They most need a place of restful beauty in their city as their helpful life’s companion.”

Riley will speak again at the dedication‚ also including words from Mayor John Tecklenburg and a performance by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Get details at