2300 Greene Street2300 Greene Street
Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Central to today's Lower Waverly and Old Shandon neighborhoods that surround it, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, under different names, has been a community landmark since the founding of Shandon, Columbia's first planned suburb, in 1893. Shandon's developers believed the key to ensuring their suburb's success lay in building residences and in creating public destinations. Initially known as Shandon Pavilion, this public green space was intended as a resort with a casino, bathhouses, and sporting opportunities for seasonal tourists. Accessible by trolley by 1894, Valley Park (as it was renamed by 1895) became a favorite recreational area for whites only until integration in the 1950s. In 1993, the park was assigned its current name in honor of the nation's most celebrated civil rights leader.