Historic Charleston Foundation

Examples of Colonial Architecture in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

Examples of Colonial Architecture in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga.

The folio, Examples of Colonial Architecture in Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga., features photographic plates of some of the most important houses and buildings in Charleston and Savannah. Photographs include exterior views of the buildings, gates, and entrances, as well as interior views of fireplaces, mantels, doors, rooms, and ceilings. Compiled and photographed by Edward A. Crane and E.E. Soderholtz. Published in 1895 by the Boston Architectural Club (Boston, Mass. (Note: Historic Charleston Foundation’s copy is missing Plates 45-50, which feature Savannah architecture.)

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1938 Tornado Photograph Collection

1938 Tornado Photograph Collection

On September 29, 1938, five tornadoes swept through the South Carolina Lowcountry, two of which ravaged parts of downtown Charleston, causing several fatalities and injuries and two million dollars in damages. The tornadoes damaged or destroyed almost everything in its path, particularly on Market Street, Broad Street near Church Street, and State Street. As with other significant natural disasters that Charleston has experienced, scenes of the aftermath were documented by photographs.

This collection consists of a total of thirty-seven silver gelatin photographs. Thirty were taken by an eyewitness, Ernest Losse, and processed by Jacobs Photo Service in Charleston. Each photograph measures 4.25" x 2.25" and is printed on 5" x 3.25" deckle-edged paper.

The photographer of the seven additional photographs is unknown; however, “W.M. Muckenfuss” is stamped on the backs of each photograph. They measure 3.5" x 5.75".

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SCDOT Photographs - Properties in the Right-of-Way

Black and white photo from 1967 featuring the Little Italy restaurant.

This collection from Historic Charleston Foundation consists of B&W photographs of buildings and other properties located in Charleston County that were destroyed, relocated, or otherwise modified because they were in the right-of-way of where roads were being constructed or widened. Building and dwelling types include houses, apartment buildings, freedman’s cottages, mobile homes, commercial and industrial buildings, churches, schools, gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and corner markets, garages, sheds, outhouses, and other outbuildings.
 

Roads include Interstate 26 (I-26), Route 171 (Folly Road/St. Andrews Boulevard), Route 17 (a portion of which is known as Savannah Highway), State Road 894 (Azalea Drive), State Road 31 (Reynolds Avenue), and State Road 13 (Remount Road). It is notable that some photographs in the U.S. Route 17 and I-26 groups show the area affected by the construction of the Crosstown and the Silas Pearman Bridge (a/k/a Cooper River Bridge).
 

Many photographs depict Charleston County street scenes in the 1960s, showing people and pedestrians, cars, billboards, signage for businesses (including gas prices), etc., as well as the architectural styles of commercial buildings and residences throughout the county.  Additionally, residents of several dwellings appear in many of the photographs.
 

Only a portion of specific addresses and/or locations are identified. However, each photograph contains the name of the property owner which may be useful in a keyword search of the collection. Addresses may also be determined by looking up the property owner’s name in city directories, but note that the property owner and resident may not be the same person. There may be multiple views of the same structure, which will be evident by comparing the property owner’s name, tract number, and station notes. Of note, addresses have been identified for the buildings and properties affected by the construction of both the Crosstown (U.S. Route 17) and I-26 in the area located within Charleston city limits in the upper part of the peninsula). Those addresses were determined by the 1951 Sanborn Map of Charleston, volumes 1 and 2.
 

Some photographs are marked in ink showing the area to be affected by the right-of-way. Most photographs also feature SC Department of Transportation surveyors indicating the location and direction of the future roadway by their stance or by their use of surveying range poles.
 

The collection is organized by road, then by docket number, within which most are either in chronological order or organized by tract number. The reverse side (verso) of each photo includes Docket (Dkt.) number, Route, County, Property Owner, Tract, Station, and Date. (See below for explanation.) Many also have a brief surveyor’s note related to the right-of-way status. Samples of the reverse side of photos are also included. Original photographs are 5" x 7".

 

The following is a brief guide to understanding the station description:

  • +: Plus sign
  • ±: Plus or minus
  • Rt: Right side of the road
  • Lt: Left side of the road
  • CL: Center line of the road
  • R/W: Right-of-way
  • S.B.: Southbound
  • N.B.: Northbound
  • ∆: Triangular area of land or a median

The stationing of roads is done in survey feet, not inches. Surveyors use feet, tenths, and hundredths of a foot. For example, the beginning of a road would be 0+00 (zero feet) and for every 100 feet, the number increases to 1+00, 2+00, etc. Therefore, if a station is 42+00 Rt, it is 4,200 ft. from the beginning of the road on the right side. (Note that right and left are related to the stations as they increase.) The beginning stations are usually at the start of a subdivision or at the “T-intersection” of roads. (Explanations provided by Roy T. Adams, Surveyor, SC Dept. of Transportation.)

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Historic Charleston Foundation Tours of Homes

Color poster for the 6th annual tour of Charleston's historic houses in 1953.

One of the first fundraising programs developed by Historic Charleston Foundation after its incorporation in 1947 was its annual spring tours of historic houses, during which trained “hostesses” would guide visitors through several private homes in Charleston’s historic district. In addition to raising revenue to support Historic Charleston Foundation’s preservation efforts, the tours performed an educational function by presenting Charleston architecture and decorative arts to both visitors and residents alike. Tour publicity included posters, brochures, and guidebooks, and this collection features some of the promotional materials from the first ten years of the annual tours of houses. Of note are the guidebooks which contain not only house histories written by Samuel Gaillard Stoney, Jr., accompanied by photographs by numerous Charleston photographers, but also information about Historic Charleston Foundation and its activities, essays, maps, and advertisements for a variety of local businesses.

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Historic Charleston Foundation Monographs and Photographs

Black and white photo of the U.S. Custom House in Charleston, SC, circa 1890.

Various monographs and photographs from the Margaretta Childs Archives at Historic Charleston Foundation. The focus of the collection items is primarily Charleston historic buildings, streets, landmarks, and sites. The collection also includes publications related to tourism in Charleston (1879-1948), the Charleston Earthquake of 1886, and the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition of 1901-1902.

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Civic Services Committee Papers

Cover page of the first Historic Charleston Foundation promotional publication

The Civic Services Committee (CSC) (1942-1946) was the predecessor body to Historic Charleston Foundation. It was formed by the Carolina Art Association to address the need for architectural preservation and to implement city planning in response to growth. The Committee received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, which were used to retain Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to prepare a study that resulted in his report "Objectives for the Civic Services Committee." The funding was also used to compile an inventory of the city's architecture that resulted in the publication of the book This is Charleston. The Committee also addressed and conducted studies related to growth issues such as off-street parking and traffic. The collection spans the time period ca. 1939-1949, and consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, news clippings, manuscripts, and other documents. For ease of access, this collection can be browsed by folder.

Folder List

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