With all the beautiful architecture that is everywhere in Charleston, the facade of the Old Garden Theatre on King Street stopped me in my tracks. It was erected in 1918 and ran successfully until the 1970's. It closed for 7 years and then was restored in 1977.
During the 80's it was used for performances during Spoleto and eventually transformed into a performing arts space. The city lost the lease in 2003 and in 2005 it became home to Urban Outfitters. Since Anthro is not in Charleston, I will happily take a stroll through UO anytime. But, I have to admit that on this trip, I'm not sure I even looked at the merchandise.
UO poured tons of money into the restoration. A piece of history was uncovered during the renovation.
As you enter to the right, a seperate staircase used by African Americans during the days of Jim Crow was
found by workers. It was left as a reminder to this and future generations of the struggle for civil rights.
The restoration of this place is simply perfection. I stood in the balcony and imagined
the performances that one day entertained patrons.
Crews did a great job of preserving the ornate stucco friezes found throughout the building.
Architects chose to keep many of the steel support beams exposed.
A handful of chandeliers lights the space that now serves as the dressing rooms.
And in true UO style--this wall of found scraps creates an interesting backdrop.