A New Life for Dereef Park

1 06 2012

From Charleston City Paper – 02/13/2012

Neighbors act to save historic African-American church, downtown green space
by Paul Bowers

Photo by Adam Chandler

Lois Simms still remembers the sound of voices exulting in worship at the church across the street. In the 1940s, she was a child growing up in the same house on Morris Street where she lives today, and even from the living room, she could hear the a capella offering of hymns most afternoons in the plain wooden chapel.

Read the complete article @ Charleston City Paper

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The Life and Times of Dereef Park

1 06 2012

From the Charleston City Paper 08/03/2011

A parable of gentrification

Photo by Hunter McRae

by Paul Bowers

Dereef Park is not the same place it was in 2002. Back then, the tree-shaded clearing between Morris and Cannon streets was a notorious haunt for alcoholics and heroin addicts, not the family-friendly enclave it is today.

“At one point, it was a questionable place,” says Elliott Dobson. She moved into a house just around the corner from the park in 2002. That was also the year when the City of Charleston gave a developer the go-ahead to build on the lot where the park’s grassy field and playground stand.

Read the complete article @ Charleston City Paper