The Humane Principles of Good Buildings

By Christian Sottile

0 Intro-Purpose

“The Art of Architecture makes our existence not only visible, but meaningful.” –Francis Ching

Architecture is the subject of passionate debate in every city worth living in. Preservationists, review commissions, planning departments, elected officials, and engaged citizens participate in a spirited dialogue, as living cities re-populate and build again in the wake of the slow abandonment and suburban flight of the last century. Everyone wants to support good design, but it is elusive to find a clear explanation of what makes architecture “good.” Why do some buildings (often, but not always older ones) seem to impart a sense of well-being and promote human flourishing, while others make us feel ill-at-ease…or worse? Continue reading

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2016 Carolopolis Award Recipients

  • 1 Wesson Avenue | The Kuhne-Drews House
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: English Drews and Stephen Giebner
    Architect: Tim Maguire and Lauren Oller Sanchez
    Contractor: Marc Engelke, Engelke Homes

1 wesson before 1 wesson after

  • 9 Rutledge Avenue
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Adam and Jennifer Steen
    Architect: NA
    Contractor: Marc Engelke, Engelke Homes

9 rutledge before 9 rutledge after

  • 23 Legare Street | The Robert Trail Chisolm House
    Pro Merito Award
    Owner: Peter and Diane Horan
    Architect: Glenn Keyes Architects
    Contractor: Richard Marks Restorations

23 legare before 23 legare after

  • 26 Parkwood Avenue
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Jason Maxwell, CH2012 LLC
    Architect: Julia F. Martin Architects
    Contractor: Anthony Gentile

26 parkwood before 26 parkwood after

  • 47 East Bay Street | The Anne Boone House
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Nathan Berry and Ceara Donnelley
    Architect: Glenn Keyes Architects
    Contractor: Richard Marks Restorations

47 east bay before 47 east bay after

  • 83 Magnolia Avenue
    Carolopolis Award – Compatible New Construction
    Owner: Alexander E. Storch, MD, Barndog Ventures LLC
    Architect: Tyler A. Smyth Architects
    Contractor: Luxury Simplified

83 magnolia

  • 151 Sheppard Street
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Julie O’Connor
    Project Designer: Julie O’Connor, American Vernacular
    Contractor: John Frick, Level Building Projects

151 sheppard before 151 sheppard after

  • 258 King Street
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Jenel Management Corp.
    Architect: Bill Huey + Associates
    Contractor: Renew Urban

258 king before 258 king after

  • 464 Huger Street
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: Andrew and Janye Wilkins
    Architects: Tim Maguire and Lindsey Stang
    Contractor: Marc Engelke, Engelke Homes

464 huger before 464 huger after

  • 649 Meeting Street | The Trolley Barn
    Carolopolis Award
    Owner: American College of the Building Arts
    Architect: WGM Design Inc. and Bill Huey + AssociatesContractor: Hitt Contracting Inc.

trolley barn before trolley barn after

  • 1096 Navy Way | The Eternal Father of the Sea Chapel
    Carolopolis Award – Interior
    Owner: City of North Charleston and the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority
    Architect: Glenn Keyes Architects
    Contractor: Richard Marks Restorations

eternal father of the sea chapel 2 eternal father of the sea chapel 1

 

  • 135 Meeting Street | The Gibbes Museum of Art
    Carolopolis Award – Interior
    Owner: Carolina Art Association and the City of Charleston
    Architect: Evans and Schmidt Architects
    Contr: NBM Construction Company

gibbes 1Capture 1

Thomas Mayhem Pinckney

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December 8, 2016 marks the 64th anniversary of the death of Thomas Mayhem Pinckney, a relatively obscure yet integral, early figure in the preservation movement in Charleston. An African American craftsman, Pinckney’s life inspired the Preservation Society to name a special committee after him in 2012. The Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance is dedicated to recognizing and preserving those sites and places in the Charleston area built by, occupied by, and utilized for activities significant to the African American experience.

Pinckney was born in 1877, son of cabinetmaker Nathaniel Pinckney. Educated in Charleston’s public schools and at Clark University Night School, he trained as a stair maker with Luther Alston, another local contractor, before beginning an apprenticeship with Snelson Contracting Co., builders of the Old City Jail and the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy on Legare St. Continue reading

Preservation Parlance: Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction

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When Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 50 years ago, it affirmed historic preservation’s importance to the United States’ cultural, environmental, and economic well-being. The passing of the NHPA also formed an official framework for what had previously been a largely informal activity, taken up in grassroots efforts like those seen in Charleston in the 1920s and 1930s. The NHPA charged the Secretary of the Interior (SOI) with establishing professional standards for preserving historic properties and created the Section 106 process, among other programs.

Every profession has its jargon, and from the NHPA comes a complexity of terminology, which can, at times, make historic preservation and its processes inaccessible. With May being Preservation Month, let’s clarify some of the ambiguous aspects of preservation parlance. Continue reading

Irish in Charleston

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Saint Michael’s Church in 1861 (via loc.gov)

One reason Charleston’s history is so alluring is that it is multi-layered, complex, and flavored with the diversity of several ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. In the late-17th century, inhabitants of the nascent colony included Africans, West Indians, Sephardic Jews from Portugal and Spain, Scots, French Huguenots, Germans, Dutch, Irish, and of course English.[1] All of these groups have left their mark on the city in one way or another, but in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day, of particular focus here is the contribution of Irish and Irish-Americans to Charleston’s built environment. Continue reading

Black Craftsmen and the Built Environment

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Image from the 2008 City of Charleston Preservation Plan

The Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance is dedicated to recognizing and promoting significant sites and places in Charleston related to African American history. As Black History Month comes to a close, it is an apt time to highlight the considerable influence African and African American labor has had on the city, specifically its built environment. While the preservation movement’s policies and outcomes contributed to the current state of the Peninsula’s celebrated urban fabric, the skilled hands of predominantly black artisans were integral to the original creation of that fabric, the preservation movement itself, and the resultant building stock. Continue reading

Visitor Accommodations on the Peninsula

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One corollary to the ever-ascending Charleston brand is the steady influx of visitors coming to stay in the city and experience its culture, ambiance, cuisine, and natural beauty. As a result, there continues to be requests for new hotel accommodations. While a moderate uptick of hotel rooms is to be expected with Charleston’s rising popularity as a vacation destination, the Board of Zoning Appeals – Zoning (BZAZ) meeting on February 2, 2016 saw the approval of four hotels totaling 200 rooms, an unprecedented increase in such a short time. Continue reading

Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings

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The historic rainfall and flooding in the first few days of October have greatly impacted many in the community and beyond. We sincerely hope you and your family have weathered the storm without damage to your house or place of business. However, if your property has sustained damage, or if you have questions or concerns about how to properly care for your affected property, please contact us by phone – 843.722.4630 – or by email – tcondo@preservationsociety.org.

In addition, we would like to share a resource with you in response to this week’s flooding. Please refer to “Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Properties” from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

By Tim Condo, Manager of Preservation Initiatives