Category Archives: Architecture

The Humane Principles of Good Buildings

By Christian Sottile

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“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

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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

saint michaels 1861

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

AA craftsmen

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

Starchitecture

Starchitecture Image

Susan Macdonald’s article, “Contemporary Architecture in Historic Urban Environments,” discusses the complex issue of adding new layers to historic cities over time. It is critical that contemporary architecture reinforce the existing context and architectural value of a place, rather than detract from it by standing out and running counter to the finely-tuned grain of an historic area’s “look” and “feel” (i.e., the siting, setback, height, rhythm, scale, and massing of its buildings). Continue reading