North Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – In this week’s edition of 2 your roots, we take a trip to an area known for its beauty and green-space—Park Circle.
The City of North Charleston says the inspiration for Park Circle came from Ebenezer Howard, a London native who immigrated to America at the age of 21.
While in the States, he tried his hand as a Nebraska farmer and is said to have developed a love and understanding of rural life. Howard returned to England in 1876 and in 1898, he published “Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Social Reform.” The book lays out his vision for the development of an ideal community in the wake of urban growth and overcrowding.
Howard’s book explains the importance of capturing the primary benefits of a countryside environment and a city environment while avoiding the disadvantages presented by both.
“His city would be a round planned, self-contained community surrounded by greenbelts and contain proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture. At the center would lay a garden ringed with the civic and cultural complex. Six broad avenues would radiate from the inner circle. A ring of residential area would be followed by another of industry with an expanse of open land for agricultural use enclosing the whole.”The City of North Charleston
Fourteen years after Howard’s book was published, The North Charleston Corporation was formed to develop 5,000 acres between Filbin and Noisette creeks and the Cooper River. Park Circle was designed by W.B. Marquis in 1912.
The Historical Marker Database explains, “One of the first modern planned communities in S.C., this 1500-acre development was completed shortly before World War II and grew with the wartime activity at the Charleston Navy Yard.”
Substantial development took place as the military bases and industries began to expand and more people moved to the area to be closer to work.
Park Circle has four major avenues: Buist, Durant, Montague, and Rhett. All named for the developers who acquired and planned the neighborhood.
Today, The City of North Charleston describes Park Circle as “a shining example of a walk-able community with a unique character that sets it apart.”