Save 9 Dereef Court

6 08 2012

Mommy, what are they doing to our park?

25 06 2012

Private Property

My three year old daughter asked “Mommy, what are they doing to our park?

“They are taking it down”, I replied.

But why, Mommy

“They are going to put up some new houses.”

But why, where will the children go to play?

“They will have to go to another park”

But how will we get there? Can Grandpa walk with us there?

“I’m not sure honey. We will need to see.”

But where will all the dogs go to play?

“I’m not sure dear.”

But Mommy, why would they take the park down?

At this point, I’m at a loss for words. Do I tell her that the city cares more about developers than it does about quality of life. Do I tell her that if we lived in a different zip code, then we wouldn’t need to worry about our parks being taken down? Do I tell her it is all about money?

I pause and decide to tell her it is nap time, but she gets out one more question… “Mommy, what are you going to do?

The play ground equipment in Dereef Park has been removed and a Private Property sign has been posted. As my husband stated, “We knew this day would come.” However similar to the death of an ailing elderly loved one, knowing doesn’t make it any easier. What does this mean for our neighborhood? Do we just throw up our hands and say oh well. I hope not. I hope this makes us pay more attention to things going on in our neighborhood. I hope it makes us support our local businesses and monitor the addition of new businesses. I hope it makes us go to neighborhood meetings and I hope it makes us tell our council members what we want for our neighborhoods. As far as what I’m going to do, I’m going to keep fighting and I’m going to keep showing up to meetings. I hope you will support me and the efforts of Friends of Dereef Park because if not you, then who?

If you have enjoyed Dereef Park over the last fifteen years, please post a picture and add a comment to this post.

Letters to the Board of Architectural Review

12 06 2012

Read below to see what the citizen’s of Cannonborough-Elliotborough are saying about Morris Square Phase 2. It is important that we continue to express our concerns about the proposed development. Please post your own comments online, email your city council representative, and write to the editor’s of our local papers.

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Rev. Darby of Morris Brown AME Church

Merissa Ellis

John Tucker

Elise Ladew

Dana Campbell

Bob Hines

Claire Curtis

Mary Miller

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

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

Historic black meeting house in downtown Chareston to be moved

18 05 2012

Wade Spees / P&C Staff

Historic black meeting house in downtown Chareston to be moved, restored

By Schuyler Kropf

A historic black meeting house in downtown Charleston is poised to be moved to make room for luxury homes, with advocates saying relocating the United Missionary Chapel is the best way to protect and preserve it.

Another option included turning the building into a single-family house.

Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the structure to be moved so that 33 single-family units can go forward as part of the “Gathering at Morris Square” development.

The chapel is in the middle of a historically black neighborhood surrounding the Dereef Court area.

Read the full article @ The Post and Courier

Board votes to move Dereef Park ‘Praise House’

17 05 2012

By Lia Sestric

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The votes are in.  In a special Board of Architectural Review meeting Wednesday night, members unanimously approved to move the “Praise House” at Dereef Park.

The hearing also discussed the second phase of development plans for the Park, located in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood.

Read the full article over at