Category Archives: Building

Magnolia Plantation, the House

I spotted the metal cupola and wind vane through the branches of one of the huge Live Oaks that line the entrance to the Magnolia Plantation property.

Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane
Magnolia Plantation House Weather Vane

I backed up and found a spot that framed the house with the tree, which is many hundreds of years old.

Magnolia Plantation House
Magnolia Plantation House

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

South Carolina is dotted with ruins of churches and other historical buildings. Fire, at the hands of an enemy during war or by accident, was a common culprit. Sometimes they were ravaged to use building materials elsewhere.

Old Sheldon Church RuinsOld Sheldon Church Ruins

The Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort County was originally built around 1750.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

The owners of the property have recently added a fence to keep visitors out of the ruin for safety purposes and hopefully from taking souvenirs. Oddly,  to me, this has become a popular spot for wedding and other portrait photographs.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

The giant Live Oaks surrounding the property lend to the feeling of times gone by.

Old Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Cross Keys Plantation

The Cross Keys Plantation wasn’t on our list of potential stops on our recent mid-state driving tour. However, we made a quick u-turn to check out this unexpected sight.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The property is owned by the Union County Museum but wasn’t open so I only took images from the road. The white plaque at the gable peak has the build date of 1812 along with two crossed skeleton keys.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The other end of the house has just one chimney, partly hidden by a tree.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The intricate brick work is fascinating, especially in the chimney.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

The bricks varied in colors and the top several rows on the front of the house appear to be of a different era.

Cross Keys Plantation House
Cross Keys Plantation House

Click on any image for a larger view. 

Cross Keys, Union, SC

Joseph Manigault House: Chandelier

I’m attracted to gaudy chandeliers, not that I would want one, but the bling does draw my eye.

Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell
Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell

The light from the huge Palladian window (three-sections where the center section is arched and larger than the two side sections) makes images a challenge.

Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell
Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell

The cantilevered staircase (fixed to the wall with no other support) provides an elegant setting intended to impress Charleston society.

Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell
Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell

This home has had a number of uses since it was built in 1803 for the Manigault family’s city residence and was nearly torn down for a gas station in 1920. It is now owned by The Charleston Museum which operates daily interpretive tours.

Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell
Joseph Manigault House Chandelier in Front Stairwell

Joseph Manigault House, Meeting Street, Charleston, SC

Charleston Churches on a Stormy Afternoon

Charleston, SC, is known for its abundance of churches and is sometimes referred to as the “Holy City.” The spires of this trio can be seen from a bird’s eye perspective from one of the parking garage rooftops.

Three Church Spires, Charleston
Three Church Spires, Charleston: Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Saint John’s Lutheran Church, Unitarian Church

The Unitarian Church is topped by a rooster weather vane, which had a summer storm to observe the afternoon I was there.

Unitarian Church, Charleston
Unitarian Church, Charleston

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: Rear, B&W

Many of the large churches in historic Charleston, SC, are difficult to photograph in their entirety due to the closeness of their neighbors. Turns out that the tops of parking garages provide some neat views that get around this dilemma.

This image is the rear of Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist that I featured last fall in my post Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston, SC

The dramatic clouds were provided by an approaching summer thunder storm.

The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston

Built in 1905, The Gibbes Museum of Art refers to the  dome that crowns the Rotunda Gallery as “Tiffany Era.” It seems the sought after Tiffany markings are not to be found based on the museum’s news articles about a recent renovation that included cleaning the dome.

The Dome, The Gibbes Museum of Art
The Dome, The Gibbes Museum of Art, Rotunda Gallery

I took the image above standing on the big fleur-de-lis in this next image and looking up. I wanted to lay on the floor but thought it might be frowned on.

The floor is tile, that was (gasp!) covered in brown linoleum along with the beautiful woodwork being painted white sometime in the 1950s or early 1960.

Rotunda Gallery
Rotunda Gallery

This view out the huge windows in the front shows a hint of the neighboring Circular Church, another architectural beauty in Charleston.

View Out Second Floor, The Gibbes Museum of Art
View Out Second Floor, The Gibbes Museum of Art

Cypress Methodist Campground

I visited another of South Carolina’s Methodist campgrounds last week. It turns out there are quite a few still operating around the area.

It is immediately obvious that Cypress Methodist Campground is different from Indian Fields Methodist Campground as the “tents” are in a rectangle rather than a circular arrangement and it feels less unified.

Cypress Methodist Campground
Cypress Methodist Campground

This section in the first corner is dominated by a giant Live Oak tree dripping with Spanish Moss.

Some other differences that became apparent as I wandered the grounds were the newer metal roofs on many of the camps, locks on the doors as the result of vandalism, and the lack of front porches on most of the cabins.

Cypress Methodist Campground
Cypress Methodist Campground

Another difference is that the associated church building and a small grave yard are on the same property.

Cypress Methodist Church
Cypress Methodist Church, Ridgeville, SC

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist: Inside

The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was open the day I discovered it and as I stepped inside I was somewhat overcome by the size. Many of Charleston’s churches welcome visitors to view their interiors, often with knowledgeable guides on hand, as well as for spiritual reasons.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

I saw no one here, and saw no welcome sign, either. The interior is an amazing work of art and craftsmanship. I took a few images and went on my way.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

Charleston Cathedral with Connecticut Connection

On a trip into Charleston last month I walked down a section of Broad Street that I had somehow missed before and discovered the massive Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The first cornerstone for a church on this spot was laid in 1850 and an 1100 seat cathedral was consecrated in 1854. Six years later it burned to the ground in The Great Charleston Fire of 1861. Decades of fundraising culminated in the present day Gothic building being started in 1890.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

I was delighted to find that the structure is Connecticut tool-chiseled brownstone. In Connecticut, Ted and I lived only a few of miles from the now defunct Portland Brownstone Quarry. This stone was used all over the US starting in the late 1700s, reaching the peak of its popularity in the mid 1890s. It is most famous as the namesake of the New York City and Boston “Brownstones.”

Zoom in on any one of these images to see the detail of the tooling. I need to go back to capture some of the material detail.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

The building is impressive in its size, 200 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 167 feet to the tall. There was supposed to be a spire, but lack of funding kept that from being completed.

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist