Thursday, February 19, 2009

Drayton Hall

I "love" Drayton Hall because it is NOT RESTORED. It is PRESERVED - more or less how it was found when the National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property in 1974. The building is stabilized so further deterioration is prevented or limited.

Layers of paint, as many as seven generations, have weathered the air since the mid- to late 19th century. You can see the layers to bare wood. 300-some thousand hand-formed bricks, hand-carved wood mouldings and plaster ceilings speak of skilled 18-century artisans, some of whom were enslaved.

The house is open. It breathes the same air in and outside. It's like a ruin in this way. Neither plumbing nor air conditioning were ever introduced into the house. The house was looted during its less-lived-in periods and is missing some fireplace mantels. It withstood an earthquake and hurricanes. Mostly evacuated by its owners during the wars, Drayton Hall was trampled by hundreds of British troops during the Revolutionary War and miraculously survived the Civil War intact.
To walk through its weathered 270-year old rooms seems kind of miraculous.
"To walk out of Drayton Hall above Charleston, S.C., is not to leave it behind. It is the stuff of dreams, and a visitor returns to this plantation house again and again in the hours when imagination vanquishes daily reality." Betsy Wade, New York Times, 1984
Find photos of ongoing historic preservation at Drayton Hall here.


Professor Howdy said...

Beautiful home!

luck0r said...

Thats somehow spooky! Looks like one of those houses you inherit from an unkown uncle. And all you have to do is to stay in the house for one night :)

Brenda Sparenborg said...

Thanks for pointing out the ornamented spider-webbed wall. You always see the hidden beauty in the world! We loved seeing Drayton Hall with you!