Charleston Then and Now

If  you’ve ever been to Rome, you probably bought one of those Rome Now and Then books with the great clear overlays.  Here’s my version, using a 1940 tourist booklet and pictures I made last week:

The Old Powder Magazine:

Pretty much the same, except for the fence and note that the trees are gone.  There also appears to be a newer building to the right.

This is one of the oldest remaining buildings in Charleston, having been built in 1703.  It was used as a powder magazine during the Revolution.  The thing that looks like a cross on the side is actually an earthquake bolt.  These are the ends of rods that were inserted in many buildings after a major earthquake in 1886, in order to stablize them.

The Dock Street Theater

Not many changes here.  Look closely and you can even see the sign that is hanging in the top picture.  The Dock Street Theater was opened in 1736, but burned.  In 1806, the Planters Hotel was built on the site.  After the Civil War, the hotel fell into disuse.  In the 1930s, the WPA rennovated the building, turning it into a theater once again.  There are still live performances there today.

Rainbow Row

The obvious addition of the automobiles, plus the growth of the trees really shows the passage of time.  The 18th century buildings of Rainbow Row were originally used as businesses on the ground floor, and the merchant’s family lived on the upper floors.  Behind many of the doorways are beautiful gardens.

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Filed under Vintage Travel

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