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N. Jane Iseley
N. Jane Iseley
Photographer for 36 photography books, including Lowcountry Plantations Today, Iseley is also an accomplished farmer. Her Burlington, NC, farm has been in the family since 1790, and in 2013 she was the first woman to receive the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Farm Family of the Year award. From Iseley’s experience placing agricultural and conservation easements on her farm came the interest in exploring the effect of easements in preserving Charleston and its surrounds, the place she’s worked decades documenting.
Books by this Author
The Preservation of Charleston by N. Jane Iseley, Harlan Greene, William P. Baldwin
“A beautifully wrought book, introduced by a storyteller’s history of Charleston, full of revealed mythology, glimmers of knowingness, secrets...challenging us today to consider the possibility of rendering our own day-to-day existence with a kind of artistry and confidence that can survive for 300 years.” —Whitney Powers
The Preservation of Charleston offers an unsurpassed collection of photographs that restoration expert Richard Marks attests is “a great illustration of the depth and amount of authentic building stock that makes up Charleston and shows these houses in a new light.”
Expertly restored exteriors and interior details—including countless mantels (perhaps the star of the book, the myriad variations)—alive with furnishings, art, porcelain collections, portraits, dogs and cats are captured here as only documentary photographer N. Jane Iseley and her producer, Boots Michalak, would have access and eye to find. (Note the index of interiors, exteriors, museum houses and plantation houses listed below.)
The Preservation of Charleston documents the cooperative efforts of the city and its citizens. Aedes mores juraque curat: “She guards her buildings, customs and laws” is the enduring motto of Charleston, South Carolina. Fittingly, much has been saved through not just conscientiousness, but in many cases, through binding conservation easement agreements, volunteered by owners eager to ensure the survival of architectural gems.
These easements are what inspired Iseley to work for years on this exceptional book, showing how the surprisingly intact fabric of Charleston is unrivaled in this nation, despite the onslaughts of hurricanes and earthquakes, depredations of fires and wars—and modern renovation.
How is this so? The accompanying text, provided by the knowledgeable and gifted observers Harlan Greene and William P. Baldwin, together with these astonishing photographs, reveal the story of dedication and success.
Comments from Katharine S. Robinson President and CEO, Historic Charleston Foundation; Richard D. Marks III, Richard Marks Restoration, Inc.; Whitney Powers, Architect & Co-founder of IfYouWereMayor.com :
“The very combination of Jane Iseley’s inimitable photographic genius with the renowned authorship of Harlan Greene and William Baldwin assures the reader of an unequalled new look at the remarkable protection of some of Charleston’s most important properties through the lens of conservation easements that will provide for their preservation in perpetuity.”—Katharine S. Robinson President and CEO, Historic Charleston Foundation
“With the incredible collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings that have been unchanged since the Civil War, Charleston and its surroundings provide the best place to study and learn about early architecture and see how the colonial building crafts—woodworking, plaster, masonry and the decorative arts—evolved up until the 1860s. We have had the good fortune and privilege to help protect and preserve many of the buildings in this book. It's like going back in time for us to repair and replicate the complex masonry, plaster and wooden details, often as they were originally fabricated. Some of the best examples of the Georgian era can be seen in the woodwork, paneling, stairways, mantels and door surrounds shown in these pages. Charleston has the best collection of Federal-era buildings in this country. There is no other comparable representation of great plasterwork, composition ornament and delicate woodwork. Many of those examples are seen here along with many of the Revival styles. With outstanding photography and description, The Preservation of Charleston is a great illustration of the depth and amount of authentic building stock that makes up Charleston and shows these houses in a new light.”—Richard D. Marks III, Richard Marks Restoration, Inc.
“Those who might fear The Preservation of Charleston is yet another tome, offering up architectural inspirations or decorating tips for people just a bit too caught up in the trappings of tradition, will find instead a beautifully wrought book, introduced by a storytellers’ history of Charleston, full of revealed mythology, glimmers of knowingness, secrets. The images likewise reveal a sense of overarching architectural delicacy characterized by elegantly restrained details that seem light, effortless and inevitable. The takeaway is a deeper appreciation of Charleston's sublime authenticity and craft, represented in these mostly 18th-century houses, that challenges us today to consider the possibility of rendering our own day-to-day existence with a kind of artistry and confidence that can survive for 300 years.”—Whitney Powers, Architect & Co-founder of IfYouWereMayor.com
Index of Properites within The Preservation of Charleston
(page numbers for reference)
Kincaid-Lindsay Tenement . . . . . 22
Kincaid’s Western Tenement . . . . . 24
Simon Jude Chancognie House . . . . . 26
Dr. Vincent Le Seigneur House . . . . . 30
William C. Gatewood House . . . . . 38
A Place on Duncan Street . . . . . 46
Augustus Taft House . . . . . 48
A House on Legare . . . . . 54
Branford-Horry House . . . . . 56
Thomas Legare House . . . . . 62
John McNellage House . . . . . 64
A House on King Street . . . . . 68
Robert Henry House . . . . . 70
Joseph Verree House . . . . . 72
Gaillard-Bennett House . . . . . 76
Timothy Ford House . . . . . 92
A House on Montagu . . . . . 98
John Fullerton House . . . . . 100
Henry Gerdts House . . . . . 104
Schmidt-Conner House . . . . . 110
Edgar Wells House . . . . . 112
James MacBeth House . . . . . 118
Capers-Motte House . . . . . 122
A House on Tradd Street . . . . . 134
Kohne-Leslie House . . . . . 138
Sword Gate House . . . . . 142
A House in Rockville . . . . . 154
Another House in Rockville . . . . . 156
2 Amherst Street . . . . . 158
7 Broad Street . . . . . 159
9 Broad Street . . . . . 159
18 Broad Street . . . . . 160
89 Broad Street . . . . . 160
97 Broad Street . . . . . 160
92 Broad Street . . . . . 161
218 St. Phillips . . . . . 161
2 Unity Alley . . . . . 161
William Gibbes House . . . . . 164
Carrington-Carr House . . . . . 168
Andrew Hasell House . . . . . 169
Isaac Bennett House . . . . . 170
Wightman House . . . . . 171
Bee’s Row . . . . . 172
Benjamin Phillips House . . . . . 172
James Huston House . . . . . 173
A House on Wentworth . . . . . 173
Miles Brewton House . . . . . 174
Stevens-Lathers House . . . . . 175
Robert Primrose House . . . . . 176
Andrew Moffett House . . . . . 177
A House on Chapel Street . . . . . 178
Benjamin Smith House . . . . . 179
John Steinmeyer House . . . . . 180
A House on Bee Street . . . . . 181
Warehouses on Adgers Wharf . . . . . 182
John Drayton House . . . . . 183
A House on South Battery . . . . . 184
Col. John Stuart House . . . . . 185
Isaac Motte Dart House . . . . . 186
Edmondston Alston House . . . . . 190
Joseph Manigault House . . . . . 200
Aiken-Rhett House . . . . . 216
Nathaniel Russell House . . . . . 226
Heyward-Washington House . . . . . 234
Boone Hall . . . . . 248
Drayton Hall . . . . . 258
Lowndes Grove . . . . . 276
Magnolia . . . . . 288
McLeod . . . . . 296
Middleton Place . . . . .
304 Mulberry . . . . . 318
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Photographer N. Jane Iseley, Producer Boots Michalak; Writers Harlan Greene and William P. Baldwin
N. Jane Iseley Photographer for 36 photography books, including Lowcountry Plantations Today, Iseley is also an accomplished farmer. Her Burlington, NC, farm has been in the family since 1790, and in 2013 she was the first woman to receive the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Farm Family of the Year award. From Iseley’s experience placing agricultural and conservation easements on her farm came the interest in exploring the effect of easements in preserving Charleston and its surrounds, the place she’s worked decades documenting.
Harlan Greene An archivist and prize-winning author, Greene is Head of Special Collections of Addlestone Library at the College of Charleston. His many nonfiction books on art, architecture and history focus on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry, including Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina, 1783–1865. Among the Charleston native’s novels are Why We Never Danced the Charleston and What the Dead Remember, winner of a Lambda Literary Award.
William P. Baldwin A bestselling biography, Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden; a Lillian Smith Award–winning novel, The Hard to Catch Mercy; and Gold Benjamin Franklin Award–winning poetry collections, The Unpainted South and These Our Offerings, are among Baldwin’s many contributions to Southern literature. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Southern Living, Veranda, Southern Accents, Charleston and Garden & Gun.
Alice T. Michalak A stylist, art director, photographer’s assistant and producer, Michalak is known best by her nickname, Boots. When she’s not at her home in Easton, MD, enjoying time with her husband Andy, five children and four grandchildren, she’s been busy, for 29 years, producing photography books with Iseley, working in the garden and judging flower shows.
This guide is an informal invitation. No RSVP necessary. Wear what’s comfortable. An automobile and a modest sense of adventure are all that’s required. The South Carolina Lowcountry extends along the coast from the Savannah River north to Murrell’s Inlet and 40 miles inland. Roughly at it’s center sits the fabled city of Charleston, and it’s from there that these organized day trips begin.
Between these covers is all you need to know about the region’s history, natural wonders, architecture, gardens, folklore, archaeology, and more. But we’ve said enough. The Lowcountry is indeed an advertisement for itself, and you’re invited in . . .
Fourteen years in the planning and three years in the making, Lowcountry Plantations Today is renowned photographer N. Jane Iseley’s and award-winning writer William P. Baldwin’s loving tribute to the Carolina Lowcountry. Access to these incredible homes is limited; the treasures they contain are seldom seen. From the monumental serenity of the Palladian Drayton Hall to Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary Auldbrass, we witness the evolution of the plantation house—and the evolution of interiors and gardens, as well.
$34.95 (Hardcover), $19.95 (Softcover)
The centerpiece city of the Carolina Lowcountry, Charleston is known for its quaint and gentle pleasures. Blazing azalea blossoms. Cobblestones and a patch of peeling stucco. A bowl of she-crab soup. Stately church bells pealing. Fresh photography and richly detailed text capture the stunning beauty of the South Battery and Charleston’s Old World streetscapes, its gardens and gates. Treasures include the Aiken-Rhett slave quarters and the beshadowed baptismal font of St. Michael’s Church. Come along. You’re invited in.
Interior refers to not only the designs and dressings found inside a house, but also its character or concealed nature. Uncover the hidden essence of one of the oldest and most charming U.S. cities. Among the splendors here are the dark mahogany halls of the Miles Brewton house; the winding, ornate Neoclassical staircase of the elegant Joseph Manigault house; the vast drawing room in the William Ravenel House, one of Charleston’s greatest Greek Revival mansions; and the manicured garden of the Benjamin Phillips house.
Infused with recipes and customs from around the world, the cuisine of Charleston has been applauded by gourmets for more than two centuries. Here, we present menus for a year of entertaining. From classic Lowcountry to nouvelle South, the dishes range from the simple Hoppin’ John to the elegant Princess Torte. Photographs of Charleston’s exquisite architecture complement the dishes, and historical sketches accompany the recipes. More than a simple cookbook, this collection catalogues Charleston’s entertainment history.