Something I learned the other day after shooting this old house, an ‘Architectural Folly’. A building created for decorative purposes only.
That description fits the gate house (almost) perfectly. Here it was basically a person with too much money. This was 1803 !
I say almost perfect because in 1920 the property was sold off for the site of a new fangled thing called a Gas Station. Old tires were stored in the gate house.
The property was saved and is now a National Historic Site. We now know the house is another type of perfect, a Federal style building with the largest cantilever free standing staircase in North America.
I didn’t plan on these three photographs from the other day. More of an experiment on sepia monochrome architecture shots.
One thing lead to another shot, and finally three before I stopped.
All images captured in the Joseph Manigault House, Charleston. Built in 1803 it is one of two National Historic sites in town that have the early 19th century circular stair cases.
This home was out of range of the northern canons during the civil war, survived the large fires, and even the huge 1886 earthquake.
However in the late 1940’s this house was empty, the gardens gone, and (gasp) the Exxon Corp. was building a gas station here. The Charleston Historical Society formed and bought the property at the last minute.
We have gone out roaming around in the history of our town, Charleston. Tourism has slowed down also some of the old manors and other sites are back open.
A few days ago I filled my pockets with small lens and stopped by the Heyward – Washington House on Church Street.
The house sits in the middle of many others of the same era, it’s easy to miss. Considering the history of the house that says something about the streets of Charleston.
I seem to be following George Washington around a lot lately, this is another place. The same trip of 1791 where we shared a porch (click here) our first president made this house his temporary residence while in Charleston. Thomas Heyward the owner was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was jailed/exiled by the British, and had moved from this house right as Washington arrived.
The Grimke family moved in after Washington left. Sarah and Angeline Grimke were among the first abolitionists and suffragettes.
Above is the parlor of the home with it’s ornate spinet, a small upright piano.
The rooms were ornate, like the others we have photographed and published here. However… and this was a big one, rooms were smaller and due to the other nearby buildings, dark.
This was a location hard to compose and shoot. Almost no room to move around. My preferred lens is an old Canon 18-135mm. Not fancy, but gets the job done. Here I used a 24mm prime for low light.
I didn’t consider people would be decorating for the holidays either. That’s an item I need to remember for future shoots. Working around people working around me. We had three stops this day, all three were decorating.
Anyway, the rooms we did get here were as beautiful as expected.