Tulsa Rose Society honors late interior designer
Grand opening of the Charles Faudree Memorial Pavilion will be at this year’s annual Tasting at Woodward Park on Sept. 27
The late interior designer Charles Faudree was known across the world, but he called Muskogee and Tulsa home for most of his life. In 2013, at the age of 75, Faudree’s death left behind a legacy that friend and Realtor Peter Walter wanted to commemorate. On the hunt for the perfect location for his vision, Walter visited several Tulsa spots before landing in Woodward Park.
At the time, the Tulsa Rose Society was working on restoring the terraced rose garden. First noticed in 1986, rose rosette disease — spread by mites — ravaged the Tulsa Rose Garden plants, leaving them in shambles. When Walter brought the idea of a memorial structure for Faudree to the Garden Center, he suggested incorporating it into the restoration process.
Fundraising started in early 2014 by Walter, managed by the Tulsa Community Foundation. Walter raised approximately $175,000 and the Center was awarded $20,000 in grants, but funding slowed and fell short.
After Laura Chalus took the helm at the Tulsa Garden Center in 2016, “I kept walking out and staring at that empty space,” says the center’s CEO and 2019 Tulsa Rose Society president. “I knew it was going to be a wonderful, elegant capstone for the park.” Chalus sought out other means to secure the funds. She proposed using the $55,000 in the Friends of Woodward Park fund, which receives its money through park permits. The structure’s design was confirmed in February 2017 and park funding approved in March 2017.
The grand opening of the Charles Faudree Memorial Pavilion will be at this year’s annual Tasting at Woodward Park on Sept. 27. A donor appreciation celebration is scheduled into the event, with a fireworks display to close the evening.