Posted: April 24, 2023
Each April, Historic Charleston Foundation commemorates its 1947 founding by honoring extraordinary contributions in preserving Charleston’s irreplaceable historic built environment and cultural character. We are honored to celebrate the following individuals and organizations who are instrumental to the past, present and future authenticity of Charleston and the Lowcountry. Awards include the Stoney Craftsmanship Award, the Whitelaw Founders Award and new for 2023, the Joseph H. (Peter) McGee Award.
The Stoney Craftsmanship Award recognizes craftspeople who have kept alive Charleston’s tradition of excellence in the building trades.
2023 Stoney Craftsman Award Winners:
Andrea Hazel, artist: Andrea Hazel was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She taught math at Trident Technical College for many years and Andrea Hazel Photography, until her retirement in 2001. Her most recent collection is titled “How It Was…Charleston in 1963.” This collection depicts various buildings in Charleston that were lost to development. Many of the paintings in this collection depict surveyors taking measurements for the construction of Interstate 26 and the Crosstown. At least 150 structures would be demolished to make way for this new construction. Photographs of these lost structures are housed in the archives of Historic Charleston Foundation and were used as the inspiration for this collection. Along with capturing the buildings that were lost to development, Andrea does an excellent job of capturing the spirit and culture of families and residents that were forcibly rehoused due to this construction. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to present a Stoney Craftsmanship Award to Andrea Hazel for her exceptional body of work in “How It Was… Charleston in 1963,” representing the spirit and culture of rehomed families and residents in the wake of the Interstate 26 and Crosstown road construction.
Karl Beckwith Smith, artist: Karl Beckwith Smith is an artist and painter who works extensively in the Charleston historic district. He moved to Charleston in 1992 when he established Halcyon Place Gallery on Wentworth St and a design studio on Folly Beach. Karl creates custom artwork for architects, interior designers, builders, homeowners and commercial businesses, expanding his range beyond the typical canvas or mural. Karl does decorative painting on building interiors and exteriors, as well as objects. Most recently, Karl was commissioned by HCF to conduct the research, design, and painting of a custom floorcloth for the entry hall at the Nathaniel Russell House. Though his work spans the globe, Smith’s body of work locally includes extensive interior painting at the French Huguenot Church and myriad of private residences across the historic district. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to present the Stoney Craftsmanship Award to Karl Beckwith Smith, for his excellence and dedication to furthering the traditions and craft of the decorative arts.
Sheila Wertimer, landscape architect: Sheila Wertimer has been a longtime leader in the preservation and revitalization of Charleston’s historic gardens. Working for over 40 years in the field of landscape architecture, Sheila has designed and curated literally hundreds of gardens in the Lowcountry. Her innovative, award-winning designs are noted for their sensitivity to Charleston’s historic fabric, use of native plants, and the enticing environment her gardens impart. Sheila began her career in Charleston in 1979, serving as the official Landscape Architect for the City of Charleston. Notably, Sheila has revitalized multiple gardens originally designed by renowned landscape architect, Loutrel Briggs. Her revival of Briggs’ original plans can be seen at properties such as 23 Meeting Street and Mulberry Plantation. Other important historic properties in her portfolio include the gardens at the Swordgate House, 59 Meeting Street, and White House Plantation. Sheila Wertimer’s work includes new gardens as well, such as the design of Theodora Park on George Street and numerous properties on Kiawah. Although Sheila Wertimer has officially retired from Wertimer and Cline, her impact on Charleston’s gardens is enduring.
The Whitelaw Founders Award recognizes individuals, groups, or government entities that actively engage in the long-term preservation of important buildings and places.
2023 Whitelaw Founders Award Winners:
Farmers and Exchange Bank Building, 141 East Bay Street: The Farmers’ and Exchange Bank Building is a historic commercial building designed by Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee in 1853 and was completed in 1854. Its Moorish Revival architectural style is distinctive for Charleston. The building was threatened by demolition to become a parking lot until it was purchased and restored in 1970. It was designated a National Historic landmark in 1973. In the early 1990s the building was rehabilitated for use as a restaurant, though it has been vacant since the early 2000s. Sold to a preservation-minded buyer in 2019, the Bank has undergone a significant rehabilitation and renovation by Huss Construction. The scope of work includes: repair and replacement of brownstone and wood trim, window repairs, repointing, mineral wash stucco coating, and full restoration of the existing gable roof monitor. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to honor building owner Donna Moeckel for the restoration and revitalization of this important building.
Strawberry Chapel of Ease: The Wardens and Vestry of Strawberry Chapel (built c. 1725) have executed a “once in a century” restoration of their beloved chapel. Strawberry Chapel is the only remaining structure from the 1707 Childsbury settlement. Built as a chapel of ease in 1725 as part of the St. John’s Berkeley Parish, it is located at present-
day Cordesville in Berkeley County. The extensive interior and exterior restoration cost in excess of 1 million dollars and is intended to completely restore the chapel in time to celebrate the Tricentennial of its founding in 2025.
Interior work was completed in 2022 with a total restoration of the interior plaster, brick work, stucco, windows, floors and millwork, including this unique pinecone lettering. This project is an incredible example of preservation practice, craftsmanship, and community stewardship. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to honor the Wardens and Vestry with a Whitelaw Founders Award for the restoration and excellent stewardship of Strawberry Chapel.
Starlight Motor Inn, 3245 Rivers Avenue: Built in 1961 on the site of Woody Rogers’s old Studebaker dealership, The Starlight Motor Inn has been a landmark in this North Charleston neighborhood for over 60 years. Recognized as the first modular-built motel in the South, The Starlight was conceived as an affordable and accessible destination for everyday Americans and for decades lived up to its original name, “The Host of America.” In 2020 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its revolutionary modular construction. In 2022 almost every detail has been restored or preserved, including the Burgundy Lounge, the hotel bar that is still adorned with the original booths, tables, barstools, and chairs. Owned and operated by a Charleston native, The Starlight welcomes visitors, and locals alike to stay, swim, dine, and drink. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to honor Ham Morrison with a Whitelaw Founders Award for the restoration of the Starlight Motor Inn.
Old St. Michael’s Rectory, 39 Meeting Street: The dwelling at 39 Meeting Street is known as the “Old St. Michael’s Rectory” and it was built in the late 1760s as the first minister’s house for the new St. Michael’s Parish. 39 Meeting Street is a three-and-one-half story brick and stucco Charleston Single House. The house boasts two bays at the front and maintains the original piazza screen. In the earthquake of 1886, the house sustained extensive damage and underwent considerable reconstruction and alteration. Through the stewardship of its current owners, Mike, and Jane McLain, 39 Meeting Street has undergone considerable rehabilitation work over the last two years to bring the house back to a condition that highlights its long history as a renowned example of a Charleston Single House. With Glenn Keyes as the architect and Richard Marks Restoration as the contractor, 39 Meeting Street has undergone extensive repair of its exterior stucco, historic windows and shutters, slate roof, and modifications to an existing piazza enclosure, as well as less glamorous, yet essential, upgrades to mechanical systems and drainage. HCF would like to specially recognize Moby Marks, Jaron Janes, Michael Dubois (ironwork), Glenn Keyes architect on their outstanding work on the historic property and Wertimer and Cline for landscape design and architecture.HCF is pleased to award the owners of 39 Meeting Street, Mike and Jane McLain, with a Whitelaw Founders Award for their exceptional stewardship and rehabilitation of 39 Meeting Street.
Historic Charleston Foundation is proud to announce the creation of a new award for 2023, the Joseph H. (Peter) McGee Advocacy Award, named for past HCF Chairman and nationally-recognized preservationist Peter McGee. This award was created to recognize citizens who devote time, energy, and passion into preserving significant historic places or advocating for public policy that advances the principles of historic preservation, excellent urban design, and community planning.
2023 Joseph H. (Peter) McGee Award Winners:
Richard Habersham, Phillips Community Association President: For more than 20 years, Mr. Habersham has fought to protect the Phillips Community from the threats of suburban sprawl, transportation, and infrastructure projects and now, Phillips is among the most remarkably preserved settlement communities in the Lowcountry. Mr. Habersham has led the Phillips Community in its successful fights against the widening of Highway 41 to 5-lanes through the community and multiple annexation attempts. He played the lead role in making Phillips the first historic district in Charleston County and is a key driver of the nomination for Phillips to be listed on the National Register, a national precedent-setting nomination. Most recognized for landscape preservation, he is also working to ensure a vibrant life for community residents. Partnering with the East Cooper Land Trust, Mr. Habersham and Community leaders were able to conserve a large tract of land that serves as a community gathering place, walking trail, and picnic area, though there are plans for a ball field and interpretive signage on community history. Habersham defines the community-led preservation movement and has blazed the trail for many other settlements seeking to preserve their communities, including 10-Mile, Beefield, and Red Top. Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to award Richard Habersham with a Joseph H. (Peter) McGee Award for his exemplary work in the community-led preservation movement.
Christian Sottile, architect and urban designer, Sottile & Sottile: A principal at Sottile & Sottile in Savannah, GA, Christian Sottile is an internationally award-winning architect and urban designer. His experience includes master planning in nationally registered historic districts, regional planning and master planning for new towns, community-wide workshops, stakeholder engagement, historic research, urban analysis, redevelopment, infill, and revitalization programs. Christian Sottile does not shy away from taking risks on beautiful architecture using the highest-quality materials, including his designs for Courier Square Phase II, the hotel proposed for the Morris Sokol site, and the project at 655 East Bay Street, as well as his collaborations with the American College of the Building Arts.
In 2023, the Foundation is proud to present a Special Recognition Award to Mr. Jamie Westendorff, owner and operator of Charleston Outdoor Catering.
Jamie Westendorff is the epitome of generosity, regularly donating food and catering services to those in need. Through his catering company Jamie has served an incredible number of organizations including but not limited to: American Lung Association, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts Troop 79, Charleston Community Sailing, MUSC Children’s Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sertoma Charities, Special Olympics, The Ronald McDonald House, Windwood Farm Home for Children, various schools, local churches as well as hurricane victims and relief workers. Closest to Jamie’s heart is Camp Happy Days on Lake Marion, where kids with cancer spend the week of Fourth of July together doing “normal” camp activities. Jamie gives the community more than he takes and represents the culture and good Charleston values that we are proud to recognize.