Current Events Archives - Matt Anderson Properties

Castle Pinckney Conceptualization

Castle Pinckney

By Around Charleston, Current events

Have you ever been in Charleston harbor? Ever heard of Shutes Folly Island? Chances are you probably haven’t, even if you’re an avid Lowcountry boater. This forgotten island is situated almost right in the center of Charleston harbor and yet its significance and history is somewhat unknown, even to Charlestonians. The most popular and distinguished landmark in Charleston harbor is undeniably Fort Sumter where the infamous first shots of the American Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. Although Shutes Folly is less than 3 miles from Fort Sumter, it is often overshadowed and considered historically obsolete by many. However, surprisingly Shutes Folly Island actually contains the oldest surviving fort in all of Charleston.

Castle Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina

Built in 1809, Castle Pinckney represents one of only three surviving American castle-style forts in the United States. Its rounded, brick architecture is reminiscent of French fortifications built in the same era making it a truly unique American fort. As time passed a light beacon was added to the southern side of the fort. In addition, a small hospital and carpenters shop were constructed on the north side as well as a barracks and officers quarters which could accommodate up to 200 soldiers if need be. In 1829 construction began on Fort Sumter, a more robust fortification at the mouth of Charleston harbor which provided a more strategic defensive position. After the addition of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney transitioned into more of an auxiliary role in military operations. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 its walls were reinforced and defenses were upgraded to withstand a Union bombardment. Castle Pinckney was then converted into a prison to house captured Union soldiers and served an important role for Confederate defenses.

Castle pinckney

Castle Pinckney

After the Civil War ended in 1865 Castle Pinckney was officially decommissioned as a military post. Its role changed throughout the decades and its ownership was transferred several times between government agencies including the Lighthouse Bureau, Army Corps of Engineers and eventually the National Park Service in 1933. In 1956 the South Carolina State Ports Authority gained jurisdiction of Shutes Folly Island and 11 years later in 1967 a fire broke out on the island destroying a supply warehouse and several outbuildings.

The remains of these structures remain widely unexplored to this day. Large amounts of fill and vegetation have accumulated on the majority of the island including the interior of the castle itself masking its true historical significance. Spring tides and storm surges have also degraded the bases of Castle Pinckney’s walls and remaining structures.  Its marshy lowlands and overgrowth make it difficult to traverse or explore on foot. Adding to the difficulty is that Shutes Folly Island lacks a dock or any type of boat landing to utilize which significantly hampers efforts to do any serious exploring or reconstruction.

The future of Castle Pinckney is anything but certain. Logistical problems stem from the island’s location in the harbor, lack of a dock access and dense overgrowth. Lack of government funding has also hindered and delayed efforts to move forward in revitalizing this historical site. However, in 2102 the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) announced that it would hold a student competition called “Preservation as Provocation: Rethinking Castle Pinckney for the 21st Century”. This competition challenged students to conceptualize ecologically friendly designs to make Castle Pinckney more tourist friendly and educational while still preserving its natural aesthetics, marine wildlife and historical prominence.

Castle Pinckney Conceptualization

Castle Pinckney Preserve Conceptualization. Credit: Michael Gastineau.


Castle Pinckney Visitor Pavillion Concept

Castle Pinckney Visitor Pavillion Concept. Credit: Miachel Gastineau

Some of the student conceptualizations are stunning and extremely well thought out. Elevated boardwalks, suspended viewing platforms and smart roofs that collect water for self-sustaining restroom facilities are just some of the advanced ideas that came from the competition which has reignited the revitalization debate. However, these ideas are only conceptualizations and real plans for the future of the Castle Pinkney are still undecided. If you would like to check out more student ideas and artistic conceptualizations for Castle Pinckney check out Castle Pinckney Concepts 


(These photos are concept designs created by an architectural student competing in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture competition from 2012-2013 school year. There are no plans currently to restore or alter Castle Pinckney in anyway.)


Current Events in Charleston Provided by Matt Anderson Properties

Current Events, March 22-24

By Current events

Current Events, March 22-24 provided by Matt Anderson Properties

Current Events in Charleston Provided by Matt Anderson Properties

Charleston, South Carolina has more to offer visitors and residents than horse tours downtown and beautiful beaches. Charleston is also home to a thriving events calendar, which has more festivals, races, and shows than anyone could pack into a single weekend. Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24 is crammed with events that will satisfy a wide range of interests, so get ready for a fun weekend.

If you’re looking for last minute plans tonight (3/22), meet the Lee Brothers at the signing of their newest book, Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, which will be held this evening at the Preservation Society of Charleston gift shop at 147 King Street. The event will run from 5:30-7:00 PM, and is free to the public.

Saturday offers a variety of events, both indoors and out:

  • If you’re ready to begin your Easter celebrations, join the fun at the Charleston Museum’s Easter Egg-stravaganza from 10 AM to noon. For the first hour, you and your little Easter bunny can decorate baskets and glitter eggs before beginning the egg hunt at 11 AM. Free for museum members, $10 for adults, $5 children over 3.
  • Bulls Bay has planned an outdoor festival with fun for the entire family. The Bulls Bay Nature Festival offers fishing events, barrier island walks, kayak and canoe tours, bird and wolf demonstrations, and more, all set to music provided by the Awendaw Green.
  • Prepare to be color bombed at the Color Me Rad 5K race at the Exchange Park Saturday morning. Online registration is no longer available, but you can still get in on the fun by registering at packet pick-up or on race day.
  • End your Saturday with Charleston’s most fashion-forward people, as you help celebrate the closing of Charleston Fashion Week. The Ice After-Party begins at 10 PM at 35 Woolfe Street, and the ticket price (starting at $75) includes an open bar and DJ.

Sunday’s events include:

  • Customer Appreciation Day at the Charleston County Parks. This free event includes open admission to most of the Charleston County Parks, as well as family-friendly activities from 12-4 PM. Bring your fishing gear to take advantage of the free fishing at the Folly Beach and Mount Pleasant Piers.
  • The CSO Gospel Choir shares its newest production, “Wind and Mockingbird: the Story of How Written Word Changed Society.” The show will begin at 5 PM, and tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students or seniors.

There are two events that run throughout the weekend: the Charleston Ballet Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz, and the Historic Charleston Foundation’s 10th Annual Antiques Show. The Wizard of Oz has two Saturday performances at 2 PM and 5 PM, as well as a Sunday matinee at 2 PM. All performances will be held in the Sotille Theatre downtown, and are ninety minutes long. The Antiques Show at Memminger Auditorium runs all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday; aside from viewing over thirty booths of the nation’s best antiques, you can also attend lectures and classes on antiquing or take a private, guided tour of the show.


Websites for all events mentioned above:


“Bulls Bay Nature Festival: From the Forest to the Sea.” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. http://www.fws.gov/seweecenter/festival.html

“Charleston Antiques Show.” Historic Charleston Foundation. https://www.historiccharleston.org/Events/Charleston-Antiques-Show.aspx

“Charleston Ballet Theatre Presents Wizard of Oz.” Charleston Visitors’ Bureau. http://www.charlestoncvb.com/visitors/events_news/charleston-events/charleston_ballet_theatre_presents_i_the_wizard_of_oz_i_-8244?search=&endDate=03/31/2013&startDate=03/01/2013

“Charleston Museum Easter Eggstravaganza.” Charleston Museum. http://www.charlestonmuseum.org/event.asp?ID=521

“Color Me Rad 5K.” Charleston Color Me Rad Race. http://www.colormerad.com/race.i?raceid=90&t=Charleston,_SC

“CSO Gospel Choir: Wind and Mockingbird.” CSO Gospel Choir. http://csogospel.com/buy-tickets/

“Customer Appreciation Day.” Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. http://www.ccprc.com/Calendar.aspx?EID=1618

“Ice After-Party.” Charleston Magazine: Charleston Fashion Week. http://charlestonmag.com/fashionweektickets/finale

“The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen Book Signing.” Charleston Visitors’ Bureau. http://www.charlestoncvb.com/visitors/events_news/charleston-events/the_lee_bros_charleston_kitchen_book_signing-8185?search=&endDate=03/31/2013&startDate=03/01/2013