Mixing It Up Like Faudree
by Laura Chalus, CEO, Tulsa Garden Center
Known for his eclectic style of blending French country décor with English influences, Charles Faudree was master of “the mix.” When Tulsa-based Faudree passed away in late 2013, the world mourned the loss of a premier artist within the interior design world. However, Peter Walter, one of Faudree’s closest friends, got to work spear-heading a memorial pavilion meant to celebrate such an influential life.
In what would turn out to be a series of fortuitous events, the historic Tulsa Rose Garden at Woodward Park was ultimately chosen as beneficiary of the elegant pavilion design. How fitting that a memorial honoring a gentleman with exquisite taste and an eye for balancing old with new, would be positioned within a garden which has been doing the same for decades.
The 1934 Rose Garden may have been temporarily waylaid by a currently, incurable rose disease, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still shine at the heart of Woodward Park. Bringing new life within the weathered limestone walls, hundreds of volunteers have spent the past 3 years adding a kaleidoscope of new perennials, shrubs, grasses, and annuals blended into the landscape with roses, including antique rose varieties dating back to 1924.
Though the memorial was originally slated for completion in spring, Tulsa’s unseasonably wet weather brought about delays but certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of those watching the structure rise from the top terrace of the grand 4 ½-acre garden. Surrounded by color emanating from the new flowers and foliage, and with fountains accenting its brick and limestone veneer, each structural element was thoughtfully designed to harmonize with the 100-year old Snedden Mansion and its companion Carriage House.
Managed by the Tulsa Garden Center, the Charles Faudree Memorial Pavilion will of course be open the public within Woodward Park, but will also be available for private event rentals, bringing in much needed resources to fund ongoing maintenance and beautification efforts. How many families might be brought together under its exposed-beamed ceiling one can only guess, but with so many weddings and life celebrations taking place every day in Woodward Park, we should expect nothing less from our newest, timeless beauty.
The grand opening of the Charles Faudree Memorial Pavilion is set to take place on Friday evening, September 27th during The Tasting at Woodward Park, our largest fundraising event of the year. With event proceeds benefitting educational programming and Park beautification, we hope you will consider joining us to celebrate new growth in Woodward Park, and a new beginning for the Tulsa Rose Garden. TulsaGardenCenter.org/the-Tasting
Lest we grow stale and find ourselves no longer relevant in this ever-changing world, sometimes you just need to mix it up, a la Charles Faudree. Come party with us at Woodward Park!