Only the Pelicans are Enjoying Colonial Lake – A Renovation Update

It has been just over a year since the $5,000,000 renovation of Colonial Lake began, though it seems like eons. I miss the Lake, the people strolling around, the dogs, the sunsets. That’s all been temporarily replaced by mudpits and mudpiles, fences, pounding, beeping, growling engines, and a constant film of dirt on my car.  However, lest you think I am complaining, I’ll say that the renovation is coming along swimmingly, and I am excited for the big reveal!

Right now, only the pelicans are enjoying our favorite Harleston Village park because over the past several days, they have drained the lake to do some work on the tunnel to the Ashley River that feeds Colonial Lake with water. I imagine there is quite a delectable selection of fish trapped in the shallow pond that is left.

Massive mud pile and pit

Massive mud pile and pit

When I spoke to a construction worker a month or so ago, he indicated he didn’t think the Lake would be done until August – a 6 month delay from the original timeframe. No surprise given all construction projects everywhere seem to be behind!

However, these photos I took in December will give you a much better idea of the beauty that is to come, whenever that may be.  You can see they have completed the tabby work on the walls, and raised the level of the Lake above where it used to be. In addition they have installed beautiful new brick seating walls, granite coping stones, and new curvaceous sidewalks.

For a complete plan of the renovation and lots of renderings or for the bathroom plans go to the Charleston Parks Conservancy site or the showerheadly site click these links below:

Or here is a quickie view courtesy of the Conservancy.

For some photos of what it used to look like and what it meant to me, check out my post from 2012 ‘For the Love of Colonial Lake’. Excerpt below…

For six years Colonial Lake has marked the rhythm of my life, constant and changing. It is the first thing I see when I get up in the morning and sip my steaming coffee, and the last thing I see before I lock the door, pull down the shades, and turn in for the night.  It is my sunrise and my sunset. It is my big sky country, where I can see stars and rainbows and full moons rising up over the colored roofs of this intimate city.

If you crave ‘big sky country’ too in the middle of Downtown Charleston, here’s the skinny on buying a place overlooking Colonial Lake.

  • There are approximately 30 homes facing the Lake – ranging in size from 1,200 to 7,000 square feet.
  • Two large condo buildings occupy two of the corners –  The Baker House and Berkeley Court. Only a handful of places in each one have Lake views.
  • Three historic homes are converted to multiple condos – all have Lake views.
  • And a college rental or two – we like the variety and spice of life – no? 🙂

There are two places with a big sky view on the market right now (


22 Rutledge


58 Rutledge

One of these days, some month soon, we’ll all be enjoying a cool beverage on our piazzas, gazing at one of the most spectacular parks in all of Charleston, the renovation construction just a blip in our lifetimes. But for now we’ll just let the pelicans have their fill…

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