Interior designer, renowned expert in traditional French country decor, author and philanthropist Charles Faudree left an enduring legacy for the city of Tulsa after his death in 2013. 

Friends of the late designer emulate his love and appreciation for the Tulsa community by dedicating a new pavilion to him in Woodward Park.

With a longtime shop on Cherry Street and a hand in numerous public projects in Oklahoma and beyond, Faudree and his impact spread far beyond his birthplace of Muskogee. Throughout his life, Faudree authored five books and was featured in major design publications, including Southern Living and House Beautiful.

He was named Traditional Home’s Designer of the Year in 1995 and helped to restore major global projects, including La Finca la Caprichosa in Spain.

While his career was prolific, his friends say that his philanthropic passion was a driving force in his life, exemplified by his role in co-founding Tulsa CARES – a nonprofit dedicated to delivering social services to those affected by HIV/AIDS. He was involved with other community-improvement and service projects, including the restoration of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center downtown.

Realtor Peter Walter wanted to recognize his friend’s enduring achievements and brought the idea of a pavilion in memory of Faudree to the Tulsa Garden Center.

“Myself and several other friends raised the money with the Parks Department and Tulsa Garden Center as major donors,” Walter says. “The vision is of a shady spot at the east end of the rose garden for weddings and photos.”

The structure echoes the materials, period and traditional design of the nearby Tulsa Garden Center mansion. The pavilion features three arches using the same buffed colored brick and Indiana limestone utilized in the mansion. The design has Ludowici terracotta tile and mirrors the structure of the pavilion on the south side of Philbrook Museum.

“James Boswell designed the pavilion, which was inspired by the designs of English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens,” Walter says. “Lutyens designed many memorials, country houses and public buildings in England, France and India.”

Boswell himself adds: “Faudree was a notable designer, not just in Tulsa but nationally. It was an honor to be asked to be a part of the inspiration and to help the Memorial Pavilion become a reality.”

The terrace where the pavilion sits was updated in a preceding and separate project that included rebricking, replanting and replacing lights. Joe Howell, president and partner at Howell and Vancuren Landscape Architects, also worked on several redesign phases of the upper terraces of Woodward Park’s rose garden and helped to select the location for the Faudree pavilion, ensuring the space was sufficient for the vision.

“The pavilion will provide an anchor and a great classical architecture focal point for that end of the rose garden,” Howell says.

The project broke ground in December and is tentatively set to open in late May.


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