The beautiful entrance to the Dock Street Theatre. In 1736, the Dock Street was the first theater built in America. That building, however, was destroyed — likely by the Great Fire of 1740. The current building, erected on the same site, was the Planter’s Hotel — which was later restored for the theater.
The Simmons-Edwards House on Legare Street is one of the most spectacular houses and properties in Charleston. It is more popularly known as the Pineapple Gates House, for obvious but inaccurate reasons. The “pineapples” are actual stylized Italian pine cones. But, pineapples would be good too, as they symbolize “welcome” or “hospitality.”
Charleston is full of fascinating graveyards, some of which date back long before the United States became an independent country. The remains of a dependency building on Queen Street frames a view into the Circular Church’s graveyard, which is thought to be the oldest English burial ground still in existence in Charleston (it’s earliest unmarked grave dates back to 1695). It’s quite a view.
The French Huguenot Church in downtown Charleston is one of the oldest congregations in the city, with its first church being built on this site in 1687. While there have been a number of other church buildings, the one standing today was completed in 1845. Services used to be held in French, but that now only occurs once a year. Pretty cool.
The beautiful antebellum Isaac Jenkins Mikell House (circa 1853) is well known for a variety of reasons (including that it was the public library for many years and more recently has been on the TV show Southern Charm). Its Corinthian columns capitals are carved from cypress wood and are ornamented with rams heads. No bull.
The beautiful Belvedere (aka the Albert W. Todd House, circa 1900) fronts Colonial Lake at the corner of Rutledge Avenue and Queen Street. It’s named for the demolished Cooper River plantation house where much of wood and interior details (cornices, wainscoting, mantels) were salvaged. And to make it even better — you can sleep there, as it is now a B&B.