1995-2003

Graham, Dover, Duany, Iglesias

Green Width to Length: 1 to 15

Face to Face Width: 68 ft.

Green apex length: 480 ft.

Green width: 60 Ft.

Approaching Perseverance Square

Victor Dover picked Perseverance Square from Vince Graham’s now famous I’On community outside of Charleston. Dover-Kohl planned the elongated square working with Andres Duany and Xavier Iglesias and Vince Graham  in a quiet part of I’On. The square in some ways is reminiscent of the thin crescent park at Seaside which terminates Ruskin Square to the north. Perseverance from apex to apex is

about the length of Wilton Crescent, but its breadth is much more narrow – a slight 68 feet. But the park area itself is divided into five parts: the tips, the flanking bosques and the center.  Like its cousins at Seaside and Belgravia, Perseverance Square creates a lot of attractive and valuable frontage, though in the I’On instance, the lot frontages are relatively wide. Enclosure created by the surrounding two story single family homes is modest though once the bosques grow to maturity, the space will be most memorable. A crescent form on on side would have strengthened the sense of enclosure without diminishing the real estate value.

On the antique front, Victor picked two (he said he couldn’t help it) — “a big tranquil one and a small more animated

At the midpoint

one, both in Belgium. The big tranquil one is in Bruges, which is an ambiguous open space that can be read as a mid-block quad. The smaller busier one is in Damme, a small town a short canal-boat distance from Bruges.” Having never visited, I never could access any significant information on them, though the pictures of the Bruges square I have seen are lyrical. Lucy Rowland, a bright New Urbanist at the University of Georgia, helped solve the actual location in Bruges: “I was with Victor Dover in Bruges a few years back and asked

Begijnhof. Photo by Brian J. McMorrow

him about this. He didn’t know the name [of the square], but described it and I knew immediately what he meant:

 Beguine Convent (Begijnhof). It was founded in 1245 by the Countess of Flanders, Margaret of Constantinople, as a haven for the beguines (lay nuns). In the 1930’s it became a monastery for Benedictine nuns who still live there today. The pretty row of small white houses around an inner lawn is a real haven of tranquillity. One of the houses has been transformed into an interesting museum illustrating how the beguines used to live.

Minnewater Park (Lake of Love)
. Situated by the gates of the Beguinage, this picturesque park used to be a dock for the barges which operated between Bruges and Ghent. Today it has a pretty lake, lawns swans and meandering lakeside walks.”

Victor offered several additional favorites off the top of his head which await research. He wrote, “We’ve got a riverfront square under construction in the South Main neighborhood in Buena Vista, Colorado (“BV”) that’s being implemented very faithfully and I think it will soon be a favorite among the non-antiques. An old one I love (but isn’t in Europe, and isn’t square!) is in the Old Village in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, where Pitt Street meets Venning Street. It’s a very agreeable triangular wide spot in the road!”

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