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Ellington Park celebrating grand opening today

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Ellington Park, a 20-acre public park in the BullStreet District named for a noted Columbia architect, is celebrating its official opening today.

The park, which includes running and walking paths, a dog park, shelters and a natural water habitat featuring a two-acre pond, is named for Page Ellington, a former enslaved man who became a self-taught architect and builder. He helped design buildings on the former S.C. State Hospital complex, assisting Dr. James Babcock, and also played a civic role, running for city council and serving as an election manager for Ward 4.

Ellington joined University of South Carolina professor Richard T. Greener as a member of the Columbia Board of Health in 1875. His home still stands in the Arsenal Hill community.  

A grand opening for the park will take place at 5 p.m. today at 1640 Freed Drive. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, Historic Columbia Executive Director Robin Waites and Bobby Donaldson, associate professor of history at the University of South Carolina, are among the city leaders scheduled to attend the event.

Several other projects are nearing completion at the 181-acre, mixed-use development. Chandler Cox, BullStreet project manager for master developer Hughes Development Corp., said last month that plans for an Iron Hill Brewing location are back on track and that demolition for the University of South Carolina’s new medical school campus has been completed.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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