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South of Broad is a novel by Pat Conroy, which I read years ago. The book is set in Charleston, in the popular and historic part of the city situated south of Broad Street. Like all of Conroy’s books it focuses on an interesting cast of characters, but the title of the book stuck with me.
The area south of Broad is located between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and is a residential neighborhood filled with beautiful antebellum homes dating back as far as 1721. The real estate of the neighborhood is pricy, it being unlikely you could purchase a home here for under a million dollars (repeated beatings by future hurricanes are thrown in for free). It’s a charming area …
Circular Congregational Church is one of the many interesting and historic churches in Charleston, and is home to one of the oldest community of worshippers in the USA. The church was originally founded in 1681. It is located on Meeting Street, the street named for the gatherings at this church.
The church you visit today is the fourth building housing this congregation. Records of the early churches have largely been destroyed by past hurricanes. The third church was the first circular structure the congregation used, and it was destroyed by fire in 1861. As the area was devastated by the Civil War and it took some time for rebuilding. Bricks from the burned down church were used in constructing the present …
There are many places in Charleston where you can enjoy views of the city’s Harbor and, if you turn around, get to see rows of beautiful historic homes. If you also want a place to sit and relax, and enjoy the fresh breeze, among the best spots in town is historic Battery Park
The Battery features a seawall and was constructed several centuries ago as a defensive site. The place has been witness to a lot of history. Dozens of pirates were hung here from oak trees and gallows in the early 1700s and were left to ripen on the noose as a deterrent to other pirates. During the War of 1812, the point was occupied by Fort Broughton; cannons were …
Sitting prominently on the corner of Broad and Meeting, across from the old Post Office building, St. Michael’s is the oldest church in Charleston. Today’s church stands on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia. It’s a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the 1680’s a small wooden church was built on this spot and named St. Philip’s. By 1727 the church had become too small for the growing congregation and a new larger church was built on Church Street, but it was destroyed by fire in 1835 and had to be replaced.
By 1751, St. Philip’s was again too small for its flock so a larger structure — named St. …
Charleston is one of America’s most walkable cities, especially the area south of Broad Street. Compact enough to get around on foot, and with interesting architecture, gardening and history. I’ve greatly enjoyed both of my visits to this city.
During my last sojourn to Charleston, we stopped by the historic U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, a grand building situated just south of Broad near the corner of Meeting. It’s one of the oldest post offices in the United States and was completed in 1896 for the then staggering sum of $500,000. It’s thought that construction of this building lead to a revival of the area that surrounded it, then already well over a century old. The Historic Post Office is of …
I enjoy looking at small things in places I visit, such as the signage of a city. Among the best urban walks in North America is the area “South of Broad” in beautiful historic Charleston, past wonderful old mansions, most meticulously and loving preserved. There are some businesses here, but most of the businesses are “North of Broad”. This photo gallery has an assortment of signs that I found interesting in the city. I hope you enjoy it.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, the right arrow to advance the slideshow)
The vegetation in the southeastern United States is unlike anywhere else I’ve been. I visited Charleston a few months ago and spent the better part of a day exploring the Magnolia Plantation, one of the grand estates of the Old South situated a few miles inland from Charleston. The lovely and sprawling gardens of this plantation included several bridges which I thought incredibly photogenic — the still water, with reflected trees and Spanish moss, was beautiful!
Besides enjoying grand panoramas of a city, I think it’s good to look at the smaller things, too. It’s often these that makes a place interesting and reveal a lot about its character. Details of architecture are among these facets, providing a sense of style, color, sometimes even grace.
My wife has been taking pictures of doors for years. I have to confess to being sensitized to entryways by her careful eye. In modern towns and cities, doors tend to be fairly ugly things — prefabricated, mass-produced, often of low quality. They lack character. That’s not at all true of older buildings and older cities, like many of those in Europe, and it’s certainly not true of Charleston. Here the doors …