Architectural Monographs: Old Charleston, Photographed in the 1920s

Old Charleston 1

Old Charleston 1

The charm of Old Charleston speaks for itself, especially in these 1920s black-and-white photographs captured for Volume XIV, Issue II of the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs. This issue consists almost entirely of photos of some of this South Carolina coastal city’s oldest and most picturesque buildings, from brick storefronts and stately manors to spire-topped churches.

Old Charleston 2

A mixture of English and French building typologies influenced by the San Dominican and West Indian settlers led to a charming and entirely unique mixture of architecture, often built using exotic materials like oyster shell lime stucco. While a lot of the city’s historical buildings were destroyed between two wars and a devastating earthquake in 1886, many still stand.

Old Charleston 3

“It has seemed to us that the buildings cannot be studied properly apart from their surroundings,” write the authors of this monograph. “To look comprehendingly up at church spires and splendid town houses, one must also look beyond them at the city and the people and the times that created them. To appreciate old Charleston at its fullest value it is necessary to see, not only the architectural monuments, but also their settings, and to catch the spirit and atmosphere of the place.”

Old Charleston 4

Read more at the White Pine Monograph Library.

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