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What's Going on in Charleston, SC

Fall comes pleasantly to Charleston with a wide variety of indoor and outdoor events and activities. One of the most popular, year after year, the the annual Fall Tour of Homes and Gardens, presented by the Preservation Society of Charleston, from October 2nd through October 26th. Now in its 38th year, the Fall tour features an array of historic private homes and gardens whose charm and beauty is one of Charleston’s great traditions. Exquisite properties dating to the 18th and 19th century become a special treat in this pleasurable peek into the grandeur and elegance of fabled Charleston’s most private places. For brochures, tickets and information, call 800-514-3849, or go online at www.preservationsociety.org.

Great Scots show their stuff and the 43rd annual Scottish Games and Highland Gathering at historic Boone Hall Plantation, Saturday, Sept. 20th. The unique customs and history of Charleston’s substantial Scottish heritage are on display all day with a family-pleasing combination of traditional music, dances and costumes. But the most awe-inspiring spectacle comes from the classic competitions in games of strength and skill. Powerful athletes heave the giant caber, the massive sheaf, the stone clacknert, and a variety of other tests of muscle might in one of the most colorful athletic events anywhere. For more information and tickets, go online at charlestonscots.org.

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What's Going on in Charleston, SC

Night time in Charleston is always a treat and never has to be expensive to be enjoyed. Every Friday and Saturday night, Evenings in the Market offers people a chance to stroll through one of the loveliest parts of the historic city and enjoy local flavors, both edible and aesthetic. The historic Central Market was first opened in 1807, with grand vendor sheds historically used to sell fish, meat and vegetables, and extends four city blocks in the heart of the old city. On weekend evenings between 6:30 and 10:30, local artists and food vendors turn the area into a pleasurable promenade of good taste, offering samples of favorite local dishes, and displaying an artistic legacy that has long found a home in charming Charleston.

Jazz is a big favorite in old Charleston, and the steamy sounds of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra are a great treat with special performances at the beautiful Charleston Music Hall. The 20-piece big band will salute the influence of Latin culture in the performance “Buena Vista” on September 20th, with two sets featured at 5pm and 8pm. A more sizzling sound will be the featured style in “SwingElectric”, to be performed at 5pm and 8pm on October 25th. For tickets and information, call 843-641-011 or go online at jazzartistsofcharleston.org/.

Charleston Indoors -  St. Philip's Church

One of the grandest structures in all the South is occasionally open for public viewing at St. Philip’s Anglican Church. The nave of the church was built in 1835, within a year after the loss of the original church on the site, which had burned. The interior greatly resembles St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square in London, whose remarkably elegant design was the conception of the great English architect James Gibbs. The Classical style Gibbs is noted for is called Mannerist, coming from the Latin “hand” and referring to the notable spatial details that blend as a composite whole, much like the fingers in a hand. One of Gibbs’ disciples was American architect Joseph Hyde, who came to Charleston in the 1830’s and earned the job of rebuilding St. Philip’s. He employed noted Charleston artisans such as wood-joiner William Axson and plasterer Thomas Weaver, who did much of the work with their own hands. Much of the detail is wood and painted plaster, but one very noteworthy look is metallic and in an unusual shape. Above the entrance to the nave is an antiphonal organ, added in the 1970’s, which features both vertical and horizontal pipes. The horizontal pipes create a musical effect called “trompettes en chamade”, or “shouting trumpets”, sending a powerful blast of notes forward to the half-domed chancel, echoing the grand scale of the colorful All Saints window installed in 1928 that adds such color to Hyde’s original design.

 

 

 

Charleston Explorer - Charleston Outdoors

At the turn of the 20th century, one of the most popular Sunday activities for Charlestonians was to ride trolleys up the peninsula to Magnolia Cemetery for picnics in a hallowed ground with a fascinating backdrop of natural and artistic beauty. The 92-acre cemetery in the peninsula neck was opened in 1850, created from a former rice plantation along the banks of the Cooper River. In opening ceremonies, South Carolina poet laureate William Gilmore Simms christened the new burial ground “The City of the Silent”. Divided into numerous sections based on religious affiliation, the cemetery quickly developed into a common theme of grand statuary celebrating the lives of some of Charleston’s most noteworthy citizens. Towering pillars, a Gothic chapel, wrought iron gates and crosses, stone and masonry pyramids, baby cradles and mausoleums are among the images that adorn former rice fields turned into lakes and ringed by grand oaks and river vistas.

Among those buried here are five South Carolina governors, as well as former mayors, Senators, diplomats, and poets. There is also a “Soldiers Ground” where Confederate troops from South Carolina lie, including 82 who died at Gettysburg and were brought home after the war. Along the river, there is another section dedicated to the crew of the CSS Hunley, who the first successful submarine attack in history, but died in the process. One of the most inspiring monuments at Magnolia is the stunning wrought iron cross marking the entrance to the Catholic section, an art work created by the famous Charleston iron smith Christopher Werner, who is buried nearby.

There are no longer any trolleys taking picnickers to Magnolia, but the gates are open daily from 8am to 5pm, and visitors can either drive through the burial areas or park and stroll. To get there, take East Bay Street north to Morrison Drive and right on Cunnington Avenue.

 

  Charleston Architecture - The Otis Mills house at 37 Meeting Street is one of the most distinctive and elegant structures in historic Charleston, yet may still feature cow bones in the back garden. Built in the 1760’s in the ”double-house” style, the brick and stucco house is divided on each floor by a central hall with two rooms on either side, thus the name. It features a high raised basement and 14- foot ceilings, both for the sake of creating airflow in the hot Charleston Summer. The house was purchased in the 1840’s by Charleston hotelier Otis Mills, who offered it to Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant- Beauregard for use as his headquarters for the defense of Charleston during the War Between the States. Beauregard had stomach ulcers, and kept a cow in the backyard for fresh milk as a remedy. The General had to evacuate the house in the Summer of 1863, when Union siege guns sent explosive shells crashing into the area. The massive house survived the war, and was redesigned during the Victorian period with two rounded “swells” on the facade, which inspired its colorful nickname, “the bosom house”. In the 1980’s, the two young sons of the then-owner were digging in the rear garden and found bones, which proved to be those of Beauregard’s old cow.

  Bet You Did Not Know - Charleston had it’s first trolley cars in 1866, when tracks were laid down the middle of larger streets such as King, Meeting, Broad, Rutledge and East Bay, and large passenger vehicles were pulled by horses. The trolley lines were electrified in 1897, with wires strung from poles on certain streets, but at first, there were still a few horse-drawn vehicles as well. After an infamous incident in which an electrified car caused a horse to balk and gallop away down a side street dragging its trolly, the draft animals were no longer used. The coming of the motor car created new headaches in the early 20th century, as cars had to contend with trolleys in the middle of certain streets and intersections, and in 1938, the trolleys gave way to city buses. The trolleys have returned, in motorized fashion, built to replicate the historic vehicles, and now offering free rides to those who may jump aboard and follow an historic transportation path.


  Charleston Market Report - CHARLESTON, SC—(September 2016) 1,732 homes sold during August in the region at a median price of $241,530 according to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR). In August 2015, 1,390 homes sold at a median price of $218,000. This data reflects a 25% increase in sales volume and 11% growth in median price, comparing last August to this August.

Year-to-date figures show 12,050 homes sold in 2016 at a median price of $239,900 in our area. Comparing year-to-date figures from 2015, sales volume has increased 9% and buyers are paying 6% more for homes in the region than they did last year.

Inventory has declined by 20% over the last 12-month period, with 5,354 homes listed as “active” for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) as of August 31.

“The uptick in sales volume is common towards the end of the summer” said 2016 CTAR President Michael Sally. “We anticipate sales volume to slow just a bit in the coming months, as it usually does going into the fall and holiday months. The market is performing well when you compare year-to-date figures and the pace of growth is starting to level off, creating a more sustainable market” he said. “However, as prices continue to increase—homeowners are paying an average of 6% more for a home than they did last year—wages are going to have to increase along with that number for the Charleston housing market to truly become sustainable” Sally concluded.

 
 
 

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