This Project is about our city and the beauty and history we share with all who come to visit. It is about our community and how we work together to honor our special citizens during their lifetime.

This Project is also about a man of character, self assurance, humility, and an artisan who shares his artistic vision with everyone who admires a fence or decorative gate of his design. It is for these reasons that on his 80th birthday, June 9, 1992, the City of Charleston proclaimed that day "Philip Simmons Day."


"You are invited to join in this exciting venture to develop the Philip Simmons Garden. Through your financial support, this warm and strong man will always be a living presence among us."
--Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Mayor, City of Charleston


Philip Simmons
, (1912 - 2009), is known for his contribution to the craft of ironwork and to the black heritage of Charleston, South Carolina. He designed the fence along George and Anson streets, the "Single Heart" gate to the walkway from Anson Street and the "Double Heart" gate to the entrance of the topiary garden.

THE BELL GARDEN
The ground was broken for the development of the first phase of gardens in 1993 and blessed at the Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday morning in 1994. Simmons brought the bell from his shop that he has owned for over 50 years. The bell, as some of you may recall, was the method of announcing meals; calling the children to school, church services, as well as beginning and ending the work day. In this garden, the bell is being displayed at a place for children to play and invite others to reflect.

 

THE HEART GARDEN
The Heart Garden, the second phase of the gardens, can be entered from Anson Street or from Menotti Street through the double heart gates designed by Simmons and crafted at his shop by Carlton Simmons (nephew) and Joseph Pringle (cousin).


"The Seat of Defiance"


This garden was a permanent installation of the Nature/Human Exhibit during the 1997 Spoleto Festival USA and materialized with the topiary designs of Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist in Bishopville, SC. This garden was a permanent installation of the Nature/Human Exhibit during the 1997 Spoleto Festival USA and materialized with the topiary designs of Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist in Bishopville, SC. (www.pearfryar.com) Fryar contributed the centerpiece from his personal garden and also laid the heart-shaped stones in the pathway. The ironwork was contributed by Simmons. Additional funds and plants for this garden were given through matching grants from the neighbors at 12 George Street, garden clubs and from individuals.

While walking through the garden you may enjoy the scents from the plants, watch the birds taking a break with a drink or a quick bath on their way to their destination, or locate your name or those of friends and family in the commemorative bricks along the pathways. Other recognitions of contributors will be placed in the garden as well.

This garden is considered a community-wide effort and is one of the most visited gardens in the city. As well as being a quiet place to reflect, it is also a beautiful place to hold small weddings, receptions and other gatherings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.
30 1/2 Blake Street, Charleston, SC 29403
843.723.1259 (house) | 843.571.6445 (office) | 843.571.6435 (fax)
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