Posted: May 1, 2020
Everyone at Historic Charleston Foundation was saddened to cancel this year’s Festival of Houses and Gardens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of Festival goers were equally disappointed. This post pays homage to the 2020 “FOHG,” harkening back to the first years of this beloved annual event through the Tours of Homes Collection in Historic Charleston Foundation’s Archives.
One of the first fundraising programs developed by Historic Charleston Foundation after its incorporation in 1947 was its annual spring tours of historic houses, during which trained “hostesses” (pictured above) would guide visitors through several private homes in Charleston’s historic district. In addition to raising revenue to support Historic Charleston Foundation’s preservation efforts, the tours performed an educational function by presenting Charleston architecture and decorative arts to both visitors and residents alike. Publicity included posters, brochures, and guidebooks, and this collection features those materials from the first ten years of the annual tours of houses. Of note are the highly decorative posters and also the tour booklets that contain house histories written by noted preservationist, architect, and author, Samuel Gaillard Stoney, Jr., and photographs by numerous Charleston photographers, along with information about Historic Charleston Foundation, essays, maps, and advertisements for a variety of local businesses.
The entire collection can be seen on the Lowcountry Digital Library.
Here are the posters from 1950 – 1953: