28 March 2017

Annette of the skies

Citadel campus, Charleston, SC     
I have a couple of friends named Annette so I always grab a shot of this neatly cared for F 4 Phantom under the oak trees on the campus of the Citadel when I go by. She certainly is the stand-out show stopper on this site of urban ghost planes.
Bearing the name Annette, the F4-C Phantom II wears the green and brown camouflage scheme commonly seen on US Air Force Phantoms during the Vietnam War. At a time when the last remnants of the active US Phantom force – converted to QF-4 drones – are being shot down as target practice for more modern jets, it’s good to see one so well looked after.

27 March 2017

Creative mailbox

Decorative mailbox, SC
It almost makes you want to write these folks a letter just to know they would reach into that cool mailbox to get it. In fact, if I can enlarge the shot enough to grab an address I might do that. I'll say, "Thanks for having such a cool mailbox. It's tempted me to stop and take a picture for years and I finally did it."

26 March 2017

Swamp Walking - Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation & Garden, Charleston, SC 
I believe everyone in South Carolina has been inside on this lovely afternoon happily watching basketball. I think I can hear cheering from Columbia all the way in Charleston :).

The recent cold spell damaged the usual dramatic azalea show but something is always blooming at Magnolia Plantation. I walked through with friends this morning and for the first time took the nature boat ride through the old rice paddies. Years ago we used to canoe through that thick gator soup. Yikes.

We walked the floral garden and did a quick stroll through the Audubon swamp walk where the rookery is coming to life and the tree branches are turning into over populated egret and heron nesting apartment complexes full of happy chaos.

My friend Rosie's weekend guest was on break from nursing in a maternity hospital in Uganda joined us and I had a great time listening to all of her stories. My companions were both religious Sisters so I believe I can safely skip church again this week. Heheh.

We capped off the morning by making it to Angel Oak restaurant for a late brunch and polished off hot beignets as an appetizer. It's a tiny place but I have enjoyed every meal I've had there.

25 March 2017

Walk for Water - Charleston 2017

RSF River Rats Team, Walk for Water 2017, Charleston, SC 
I have a special interest in the work of Water Missions International because who can't get behind the idea of clean drinking water? We can prevent so many diseases if we have pure water to drink and although we take it for granted it is a daily struggle in so many parts of the world. Years ago the hospital I work with sponsored a water purification system for a small hospital and community in Kenya and I was able to go to photograph the commissioning ceremony and see first hand the difference it made.

Each year I try to support the Walk for Water here in Charleston. Symbolically water buckets are provided which are filled with water halfway through the walk. Many thanks to Lauren Smith for leading our team efforts for Roper St. Francis Healthcare and to all of our teammates who walked this morning. They said over 5,000 people participated and the traffic fiasco led me to believe that was true! Well done folks!

24 March 2017

Don't go down the stairs!

North Charleston, SC 
Happy weekend, kids! I felt like yesterday was Friday so this feels like a bonus pre-weekend night. I am sharing one last shot from the old Navy base before we leave the location. It is such a grand hodge-podge of buildings from modern, historic, industrial and disrepair that I was able to stockpile blog shots for the week.

This scene was from the back of the abandoned hospital building in what may have been the psychiatric ward. That is certainly what the graffiti content wants to imply. Boo! Don't let them take you down the stairs!

Have a great weekend. I am off to the Walk for Water in the morning so if you pass me as you carry your bucket of water say hello. 

22 March 2017

The Dead House

Dead House, North Charleston, SC  
Anything named the Dead House has to be mysterious, right? I can't find any real reason it is called that but the small brick structure on the old Navy base in North Charleston may be it's most historic structure. I sure do wish they would take off the No Trespassing sign since so many of us show up to take photos. Sheesh.

This information is from the Navy Yard Blog:
The Navy called it the Dead House, and that name “Dead House” appears on an 1895 survey of the area done prior to the design of the Chicora Park on the site by Olmsted Brothers. So the building pre-dates the Navy and Chicora Park. Before that the land was a plantation. Navy Architect Randy Guy’s research identified 15 different landowners from the first land grant in 1672 through 1895. There are many periods of local history when storing powder around the fringe of Charleston would have been called for, but no specific information has yet been found. Of the land owners, one stands out. His name was Sir Edgerton Leigh. He owned the property from 1767-1771. He was the first customs officer and the first postmaster for Charleston. In his customs capacity, it is thought that he assessed a tax on gunpowder carried by arriving ships. How this possible gunpowder connection may tie into the building on the Base is unclear thus far. Graduate student Chris Ohm from the College of Charleston has been researching a number of leads about the building and time will hopefully tell us more of the story.
Mr Hugh’s own theory on the Dead House name is that it stems from the use of the old powder magazine as a temporary place to put bodies until burial was arranged. On the old plantation grounds, this building would have been the coolest place.

20 March 2017

Blooming bottle brush tree

Bottle Brush/Callistemon
The bright colors of the blooming bottle brush tree caught my eye as we wandered the old Navy base this weekend. The bush is thriving next to the historic restored Quarters H-I mansion.

19 March 2017

Old Naval Hospital - North Charleston

Old Navy Hospital, North Charleston, SC    
I've brought you to the abandoned Naval Hospital in North Charleston before but this time I walked around the entire property and realized how large the facility was. It's a beautiful old Spanish style building and it is sad to see it falling into disrepair. Many people have memories of working or being inside the building when it was a lively and bustling healthcare facility. Now the lower windows are boarded and the outside is marked with graffiti.
The Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District is nationally significant as an example of the United States effort to mobilize medical support for the Navy during World Wars I and II and the Navy's ability to create a permanent and professional medical service for Navy personnel and their dependents. These healthcare facilities were placed at the Charleston Navy Base and planned in a manner consistent with military protocol to organize medical treatment, support services, and residential units. The district is also architecturally significant for buildings and structures that reflect the time periods in which they were constructed corresponding to large building periods at the Charleston Navy Base during the First and Second World Wars. The majority of buildings have a unifying architectural language which incorporates both Spanish Colonial and Mission style forms with Modern details and materials. Two residential buildings and support structures date from the First World War and exhibit Craftsmen Bungalow features. The Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District is an intact collection of thirty-two buildings located in the northwest corner of the former Charleston Navy Base. There are three groups of buildings that comprise the District: treatment facilities centered on the main hospital complex, service related buildings located to the east of the main hospital, and residential buildings largely located to the west and south of the hospital. The earliest extant structures in the district date from 1917 during construction of hospital facilities to serve an increased labor force at the base during World War I. 
Postcard - U.S. Naval Hospital, Charleston
It appears they left a few patients inside when it closed.