City Creates Outdoor Performing Arts Stage with Lighted Columns

Redi-Rock freestanding walls used in unique way to make design possible


The location of this project is an elevated stage located in downtown South Charleston, West Virginia. The renovated stage hosts concerts, parades, weddings, and festivals throughout the year.

The project was originally designed to be a poured in place wall with a stone veneer that would match an old retaining wall and steps that existed on the site. However, the city chose to work with Redi-Rock retaining wall products because Redi-Rock would be quick to install and the city could install it themselves rather than having to outsource the labor. Redi-Rock also provided the look of natural rock that could be stained the shades the city sought.


"The Redi-Rock blocks were easier to install that smaller blocks. The larger scale also made the curve of the wall easier to layout," South Charleston city engineer Steve Debarr said.

This Redi-Rock project is a showcase of Redi-Rock's versatility in design and color choices. When the Mayor of South Charleston visited a local Redi-Rock manufacturer display yard, he was impressed with a display wall featuring dark grey stain contrasted with the bright white cap stain. He also liked a display wall that incorporated both Redi-Rock Limestone and Cobblestone textures, creating a unique and varied wall.

The walls surrounding the stage are constructed entirely of Redi-Rock freestanding blocks. This site also featured a column design unique to the project. Instead of using Redi-Rock's column blocks, these columns were designed using freestanding blocks. In place of the standard 10 inch (254 millimeter) knob, the block manufacturer poured a void. The city's installation crew then stacked the freestanding blocks 12 feet (3.7 meters) high, tied rebar and filled the voids with concrete to lock the columns together.

Lighting was also incorporated into the column design. The shape where the light would be mounted was blasted out so it would attach flat to the column. The wiring was run through a void in the center of each block before the concrete was poured to lock the columns.

The finished project has been the center of attention in South Charleston. The wall was also a recipient of the 2008 Rocky Award from Redi-Rock International for Freestanding Wall of the Year. One Rocky Award is presented in each of four different categories including Residential Wall of the Year, Commercial Wall of the Year, Water Application Wall of the Year and Freestanding Wall of the Year. Redi-Rock International considers entries from over 130 Redi-Rock manufacturers around the world and judges walls based on innovative design in creative applications.


Project: South Charleston Stage #74 Customer: City of South Charleston, West Virginia Engineer: South Charleston City Engineer, Steve Debarr Installer: City of South Charleston Location: South Charleston, West Virginia Year Built: 2008

Freestanding Blocks - Redi-Rock freestanding blocks are textured on both sides, giving above-grade walls an unbeatable, finished look for any project you design.

Cap Blocks - Redi-Rock cap blocks are the perfect way to finish a retaining wall, freestanding wall, or column.

Limestone Texture Blocks - Redi-Rock Limestone blocks mimic the texture of natural split Limestone.

Cobblestone Texture Blocks - Redi-Rock Cobblestone blocks feature a great stacked stone aesthetic with the appearance of six smaller blocks.

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