05 March 2014

touring charming historical charleston with the urban electric co. (#UECo10tour)

as i posted previously on the blog, it was my great fortune to be included in a junket this past fall to charleston, SC, to celebrate the urban electric co's 10 anniversary. one of the best parts of this amazing trip was the chance to tour the stunning architecture of charleston, a city that has long been on this architecture and design buff's bucket list of sites to visit, and i sure wasn't disappointed by what i saw.  such an amazingly beautiful little city.
it's hard to believe that urban electric has only been around for 10 years as its beautiful lighting is seamlessly woven into the fabric of the city's historic core, where homes are considered modern if they were built after 1850. ;-)  everything is just flat out storybook pretty, and i spent the time on our tour literally exclaiming over and over again "it's so pretty; it's so pretty".  cuz it was.
my friend, stacy bewkes, of quintessence is standing in for scale- the custom urban electric lantern topping the gates of this mansion is probably over 4 feet tall. (

distinctive charleston "single houses" where the entrances are placed on the sides, not facing the street. something to do with a local tax waybackwhen which taxed property by street frontage not lot size, so all the lots are narrow yet deep.

swear to zeus, practically every house in charleston has a historical plaque. if you don't know who built it and who slept there, i think your neighbors probably shun you- "their house isn't even historically important!"

i wanted to explore all the secret gated gardens of charleston which are accessible by long paths from teh street, again due to teh lot/frontage thing. i didn't explore them because i didn't want to get arrested for trespassing, but trust, i was as nosy as possible without breaking the law!
i might have squealed when i saw the spanish moss hanging from the trees- this southern california boy only knows the fake version from the french quarter at disneyland. ;-)
loved this friendly orange tabby walking on a carpet of yellow fallen blooms.
porgy and bess is a favorite for me, so it was cool to be in the city where it (fictionally) took place.

we even visted a plantation, fenwick hall (which i had some misgivings about) but the grounds were stunning and the people restoring it were passionate about preserving this piece of history, and i agree that it should be preserved. we can't deny our past, so better to preserve it, than bulldoze over it and pretend it didn't exist. plus, did i mention it's really, really beautiful?

at some point the plantation house was a children's hospital and the the interior rooms are covered in a riotous variety of floral wallpapers.
michael amato, urban electric co's talented creative director points out some of the features being restored as well a bit of fenwick hall's history to our little group (including fellow designer, brad ford). architecture students from the college of charleston are helping to restore this piece of american history, which is also pretty neat.
i also found out that one of my favorite UECo fixtures, teh fenwick carriage sconce was created especially by michael amato for the restoration of the outbuildings of the plantation, which have been converted to chic residences. 

this lucky girl gets the run of the stunning grounds as the reigning queen of fenwick hall plantation.  loved meeting lulu and her human too.
again, i want to thank the urban electric co. for including me in this amazing trip to their home base of historical charleston. what a treat to be exposed to such amazing architecture and history.


katiedid said...

Looks like a beautiful city! AND it looks like you had a great time!!! Thanks for the peek Christian. :)

Debra Phillips said...

lucky you!!

cannot believe urban electric is only ten, they are a major player in the industry and my personal favorite

Debra Phillips said...

lucky you christian!
cannot believe this company is just ten! in my mind they are the standard bearer of innovative design. my personal favorite!