5 Places that Shape the Face of Charleston

 Sponsored by: The Gaillard Center

Charleston is truly a postcard-worthy city. Everywhere you turn there’s a breath-taking view, historic landmark or iconic building that contributes to the beauty of the city. Here are five spaces that have transformed – or soon will transform – the face of Charleston.

  1. Gaillard Center – Set to open later this year, the Gaillard Center will bring a world-class performing arts center and event venue to the heart of downtown Charleston. The center will be Charleston’s cultural home complete with a grand performance hall, exhibition center and indoor/outdoor event space. There will be numerous arts education opportunities for local children, and a host of performances, musical events and more for the community and visitors to enjoy.
  2. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – Opened in 2005, this cable-stayed bridge spans the Cooper River connecting downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant. It took three years and about $700 million to construct one massive structure that would replace two aging bridges. Daily dozens of people walk, jog, bike and sightsee on the pedestrian lane. And thousands race across the bridge each year in the Cooper River Bridge Run. Pictures of the bridge pop up on locals’ and visitors’ social media feeds daily. It has become a sky-high symbol of Charleston and her majestic place as a much-loved city.
  3. South Carolina Aquarium – This major tourist attraction opened in May 2000. The $69 million building transformed the area along the waterfront and brought to Charleston a state-of-the-art conservation, educational and event facility. The aquarium was a long time in the making. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley had the idea for an aquarium in Charleston in the early 1980s. By 1986, it was decided Calhoun Park would be the site of the city’s newest attraction, although the groundbreaking didn’t come until 1995. Today the aquarium brings in thousands of visitors each year and has become an iconic structure on the Charleston waterfront.
  4. Waterfront Park – Completed in 1990, this city park is packed with visitors soaking in the harbor views, dipping their toes in the Pineapple Fountain and straining to catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the harbor. The pier with benches and swings makes it a great spot to sit and watch the boats go by and enjoy a refreshing waterfront breeze. The park and Pineapple Fountain are regularly featured in any collection of Charleston photographs and truly opened up the waterfront to visitors and locals.
  5. Charleston Place – Located in the heart of downtown is Belmond Charleston Place, a luxury hotel with meeting space, shops and restaurants. Thousands of visitors pass through its doors each year. The hotel was built in 1984, covering much of the block bordered by Meeting, King and Hasell streets. It faced some objections in those early days, concerns from local residents that it would overwhelm the area. There's no denying Charleston Place left a large impact on King Street. It is credited for reviving that part of downtown – now bustling with tourist activity.

Join The Gaillard in creating an extraordinary new cultural legacy in Charleston! We can’t wait to see you.