As a testament to West Columbia’s revitalization; the ribbon was cut on the city’s Interactive Art Park, Wednesday.
West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton spoke of the significance and the park, at 425 Meeting Street. And he said it’s only the beginning of more to come.
“It’s intended to bring visitors and patrons,” Horton said. The park adds an arts-rich dimension to the dining and shopping opportunities in West Columbia. Horton also said there is more to look forward to and it will enhance the quality of life in West Columbia. And he is not the only admirer.
“It’s a beautiful final product,” said West Columbia Mayor Pro Tem, Tem Miles. He said the art park ties in with Riverwalk and the city’s ongoing revitalization effort. Miles said when the current projects are complete, including the Enabling Park and a public parking garage, there will be 375 more spaces to park in the State Street area.
Miles said when the Savage Craft Brewery is finished, in the Old City Hall building, a sidewalk on Center Street will connect new businesses with existing locations to enhance the entertainment district, that already includes Bill’s Picking Parlor and the recently opened Chayze Lounge.
Miles also mentioned that the owner of The Whig in Columbia is planning to open a Beer Garden on Meeting Street.
State Sen. Nikki Setzler said it’s an exciting time for the citizens of West Columbia.
He said the art park “represents another cornerstone along with the Riverwalk, in the redevelopment of the State Street, Meeting Street area of West Columbia.”
Setzler said there is vitality, enthusiasm and interest and it’s bringing back residents and attracting visitors, investment and entrepreneurs.
Setzler also said there are some other projects that he and Rep. Micah Caskey are working on that cannot be announced yet.
Caskey, who spoke after Setzler, commended West Columbia City Council for its vision and willingness to work with the business community. He described the art park as “the next step in the development of West Columbia.”
“It’s a model for what we can do across South Carolina,” Caskey said.
West Columbia City Administrator Brian Carter said the vision of city council, the mayor and the mayor pro-tem made the art park possible
“They gave city staff the resources and the vision needed to make projects like this possible,” said Carter.
Lainie Lewis, who owns State Street Trading Company, said she believes the new art park will be beneficial to her business.
“It will be good for me,” Lewis said. The added parking will make it more convenient for patrons. She also said she likes the landscaping in the park, that includes palm trees and oaks.
Lewis said there will be a First Friday on State at 6 p.m. this Friday (Sept. 6). She said it will provide an opportunity for customers to use the new art park parking lot.
The Interactive art Park is a collaborative effort of West Columbia City Council, local artists, local business owners on State Street, the South Carolina Municipal Association Hometown Economic Development Grant, and a Central Carolina Community Foundation Connected Communities Grant. Kelli Rikard – City of West Columbia- photos
See Me…On State Street Wall
Colleen Otte: See Me…On State Street Wall and Frames
Karl R. Larsen: Big Lonely Doug Mural
Christine Lutfy: State of Mind Mural
Interactive Art Sculptures
Eileen Blyth: Hand Drums
Jarod Charzewski: Conversation Station, Call to Venet, Glockenspiel, Saluda Rest Stop, Tolerance, and Ellipse Harp
Andrew White: Rocket Queen
Christine Lutfy: Alleyway on State