In a letter from the turn of the last century a guest of the Rhett family described the Christmas Eve tradition of decorating the mantels with greenery from the woods surrounding the family’s house on Jehossee Island. With this letter in mind we took to the woods of Wadmalaw and returned with buckets of native evergreens. Thanks to our staff and creative direction from @td_interiors, the first floor of the Aiken-Rhett is kitted out for the holidays with wild greens. 🌿 Come visit and see if you can find the 🍍 #historiccharlestonfoundation#aikenrhetthouse#preservedasfound
‘Tis the season for a 40-foot magnolia garland! We selectively pruned these leaves from the 100-year old trees in our garden. Did you know one of those trees (the one closest to the street) nearly blew all the way over in Hurricane Hugo? Our gardener of 25+ years, Bob Cox, spent three years carefully hoisting it back upright with strategically placed cables. Magnolias are resilient; the roots recovered nicely and the branches reach toward the sky once again. Stay tuned for the “after”... #historiccharlestonfoundation#magnoliagrandiflora
Put your money where your heart is on this Giving Tuesday: historic Charleston. Every donation—every dollar—will reinforce Historic Charleston Foundation’s long-standing and trusted position as the City’s primary champion, enabling us to address and help manage the many challenges and opportunities facing the Lowcountry region today and in the future. Known trends and challenges over the next 10-15 years include: - A resident population estimated to reach 1M by 2030; - 25,000 new peninsula residents, many of whom will likely face a housing affordability crisis; - Rising property values on the peninsula, limiting capacity for many local families to live, work and/or play downtown; - Sea-level rise from significant weather events and more frequent tidal flooding, which threaten the Old and Historic District as well as everyday existence; - Unprecedented visitor numbers, resulting in increased tourism congestion and concerns regarding land use and quality of life; and - Outdated 20th-century transportation networks in an 18th-century city with 21st century needs. Please consider making a tax-deductible investment as part of #GivingTuesday, ensuring the Foundation has the right resources to protect the historic authenticity, cultural character, and livability of the Charleston region. #linkinbio#historiccharlestonfoundation#lowtidetreasures
ADVOCACY ALERT // Planning Commission Authority Threatened // Two weeks ago, City Council gave first reading to an amendment that would weaken the Planning Commission's authority and more easily allow City Council to overturn decisions made by the City Council-appointed experts on the Planning Commission. Historic Charleston Foundation asks you to join us in actively opposing the Ordinance Amendment.
Introduction of the amendment at Council was surprising as Historic Charleston Foundation, PSC and other stakeholders had begun a constructive conversation this past summer addressing perceived inequality in the planning process with the understanding that the dialogue would continue. Similar proposals have been defeated at City Council in the past two years, and has been repeatedly voted down by the Planning Commission. HCF has consistently opposed the change primarily because it politicizes the planning process. The proposed ordinance change would reduce the voting threshold from the current Supermajority requirement to "at least 8 members of City Council present and voting." The Foundation will advocate for the opportunity to work with Council, members of the Planning Commission, city staff and other stakeholders to develop policies via effective, legal and apolitical measures - with proper public input - that are fair to all citizens in our community. The proposed amendment is nothing more than an attempt by certain members of City Council to unnecessarily politicize the process. // WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the Planning Commission TONIGHT, Monday, November 26 at 5pm; Charleston Gaillard Center, 2 George Street, Public Meeting Room, 1st floor. Or EMAIL the Planning Commission and urge them to stand firm in maintaining authority over Planning Commission decisions: Morganc@charleston-sc.gov#historiccharlestonfoundation
Last week we had the immense pleasure of tagging along behind Ed Chappell (architectural historian) and Susan Buck (paint analyst) as they surveyed extant 18th and 19th century kitchen houses and dependency structures in Charleston’s historic district. This important research will inform the study and restoration of the #russellhousekitchenhouse // This type of field work has yet to be carried out on a large scale in Charleston, and unfortunately these former enslaved living and working spaces were typically the first to be dramatically altered in later renovations. So much of the original structure and paint is gone across the city... but not all! We were amazed and delighted to find multiple properties where original paint (pigmented limewashes) survive intact nearly 200 years after they were first applied. Incorporated into modern bathrooms, hidden in the backs of closets, and perfectly preserved beneath modern sheetrock, these hearths and floorboards and window sashes made up the working and living spaces of enslaved people whose stories are otherwise absent from the written record. We were amazed by the diversity of paint colors and can’t wait to learn more about Susan’s findings. Ed studied and recorded the evolution of the buildings over time — paying particular attention to the environment of control and how it must have shaped daily life for those who lived and labored in the urban landscape. Our work is really only just beginning, but this has been an incredible start. These structures have now been sampled and documented in perpetuity. #historiccharlestonfoundation#tellthefullhistory#africanamericanhistory