ABOUT TOWN

Concrete benches, tables added to Secession Park stir conversation

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 28, 2014 

  • In other changes about town:

    • Custom Carolina Hanging Beds, based on Johns Island, is opening April 4 at 811 Bay St., suite 2, upstairs from Modern Jewelers.

      The company makes the beds by hand for bedrooms, porches and outdoor living spaces. The Beaufort location will be open by appointment for consultations on Tuesdays and Thursdays, owner Cindi Rembert said.

      An example of the Custom Carolina Hanging Beds work has been installed at Salt Gallery across the street.

      Information: Facebook, 843-476-1984

      Salt Gallery, 802 Bay St, which opened in March, has moved its grand opening from April 4 to April 25. The gallery is a mixture of art and handmade items, and includes room for meetings and classes.

      Information: Facebook, 843-441-6653


      Palmetto Running Co. has closed it's Beaufort location at 207 West St. Its main location in Bluffton has moved to 30 Plantation Park Drive, Suite 202.

      Information: palmettorunningcompany.com, 843-815-1718
    • Old Bull Tavern, 205 West St., is renovating the space vacated by Palmetto Running Co. next door. Owner John Marshall said he hopes to open the expanded space for the bar and restaurant May 1.

      Information: Facebook, 843-379-2855
    • Construction along city of Beaufort streets continues, with a number of parking spaces on the south side of Bay Street, between Carteret and Charles streets, reopening as portions of the work is completed.
      Six new street lights have been installed and 14 parking meters reinstalled, according to city news release. All but one parking space, at Bay and Charles streets, are open. Once the south side of Bay is complete, crews will move to the north side and work back toward Carteret.

      Construction of traffic signal mast arms at Charles and Bay will resume Tuesday and could cause traffic delays, according to the release.

Concrete benches and tables added to Secession Park have caught the eye of a number of residents, some of whom want them gone.

The two tables and five benches added early this week join two benches already in the passive park at the intersection of Craven, Church and Bay streets.

The tables and benches were purchased for $590, plus delivery, from Steel Creations of Cheraw, city public works director Isiah Smalls said. They were requested by the park superintendent.

Sandy Johnson, who owns Secession House overlooking the park, asked during Tuesday's City Council meeting that the benches be removed. She said she asked before about the benches when she saw them in the city's budget and was told they probably would not happen.

The benches are not historically appropriate, and give her the impression Secession Park will be a "picnic park," she said.

Johnson said the city needs to instead plant flowers and plants to beautify the park, the maintenance of which is "inferior" to other city parks.

Resident Edie Rodgers backed her up and suggested more appropriate, comfortable benches with backs be installed and the concrete benches taken elsewhere.

"If we still have a shortage of funds, I'll donate something more appropriate," she said.

Smalls said any decision to move the benches would have to come from the city manager and City Council. However, he said, not everyone agrees the additions are an eyesore and some have asked that they remain.

"We have gotten several calls this morning about how wonderful the tables and benches are and if they will remain," Smalls said Wednesday. "They thought it a shame and 'should not be removed because two individuals didn't like them.'"

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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