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The Preservation of Charleston



The Preservation of Charleston
by N. Jane Iseley, Harlan Greene & William P. Baldwin

 beautifully wrought book, introduced by these storytellers’ 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

Legacy Publishing is pleased to introduce The Preservation of Charleston, with photograhy by N. Jane Iseley, text by Harlan Greene and William P. Baldwin. Officially launching March 17, 2016, at the Historic Charleston Foundation’s annual House & Garden Tour, the 336 page book 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.

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. 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 unfold the story of dedication and success.

“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 IIIRichard 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 craftrepresented 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 PowersArchitect & 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



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 LivingVerandaSouthern AccentsCharleston 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.


By N. Jane Iseley, Harlan Greene, William P. Baldwin
Publisher: Legacy Publications,
A Subsidiary of Pace Communications, Inc. Greensboro, NC
ISBN # 978-0-933101-29-6
$75, Hardcover
PUBLICATION DATE: March 16, 2016

Katharine Walton 
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Tel. 919-357-4400


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