23 July 2013

Farewell to the old Charleston Library

King St., Charleston, S.C.
My self assigned assignment this past weekend was to get a photo of the old Charleston Library before it is demolished and replaced with a fashionable new hotel. I climbed the steps of the Francis Marion Hotel garage to get the view from the upper level. As soon as something new is built I slap myself for not having a picture of what was there before it.

The building has been sitting empty for years and looking very much the worse for wear. It is definitely time for something to happen and permission has been given for an eight story hotel which will change the area dramatically. I have many happy memories of time spent in it. I remember being so pleased to discover that I was living a couple of blocks from the main Library. My children and I carried home armfuls of books every week and I spent hours in the periodical section. I can't help wondering what will happen to the imported pink marble slabs that must have been a pretty big deal when it was built in 1960. Many of them are already missing.

Here is a blog that presents the decision as a loss for preservationists and I learned that it was Charleston's first desegregated public building. It will be nice to see it lively and functioning again especially since it borders the popular Marion Square. Farewell old friend.


9 comments:

  1. Too bad there could not be found a way to keep the building and renovate it, for some other use. Good thing you captured those images before it was gone for good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merisi - it isn't a very attractive building to begin with so I am hoping for an improvement.

      Delete
  2. I had many a good read from that building.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too and yet now I hardly ever go into a library. Sad in a way.

      Delete
  3. it isn't very charleston looking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya, it isn't. It was in the midcentury modern period and it was pretty high up on the peninsula.

      Delete
  4. My last trip trough was when the deserted building was set up as a Haunted House for Halloween! Ghosts and goblins of famous authors!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The style is called 50s Modern or Mid-Century Modern. The problem with it is that it's not quite old enough to be historic. It's a controversial style with fewer love-it than hate-it feelings. Sadly, this style is disappearing fast. The problem with saving this building is what do you do with it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting history. The building doesn't have that C-city charm...

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a comment. They make me strong.