“Around midday, a middle-aged African-American woman walked into Theodora Park. She strolled right over to one of the purple bistro chairs, picked it up, moved it into the shade, and sat down with an apparent sense of great relief,” recalls David Rawle of an occasion soon after the City of Charleston space opened on June 6. “She seemed to feel welcome, comfortable, and at home. My mother, for whom the park is named, would be absolutely delighted. As am I.”
A place folks would treat as though it were their own home: that’s just what Rawle imagined when he conceived of this park at the corner of George and Anson—across the street from the new Gaillard Center—years ago. Back then, it was the Ansonborough Tot Lot, an overgrown, rarely used playground. Living around the corner, the now-retired founder of marketing and communications firm Rawle Murdy wished to transform it into a tranquil place of beauty, blending nature and art while honoring his mother, an avid gardener.