A study of the life, work, and extraordinary influence of an innovative architect
Albert Simons came of age during the vibrant years of the Charleston Renaissance in the early twentieth century. His influential social circle included artists, musicians, writers, historians, and preservationists, many supporting the cultural revival that was reshaping the city. Through his architectural design and passion for preservation, Simons contributed tremendously to the cultural environment of the Charleston Renaissance. His work helped to mold the cityscape and set a course that would both preserve the historic South Carolina city and carry it forward, allowing it to become the thriving urban center it is today.
Simons brought both a sense of history and place, born of his deep roots in Charleston, as well as a cosmopolitanism developed during his years of training at the University of Pennsylvania and travels on the European continent. The melding of those sensibilities was a perfect match for the age and made him a true Charleston Renaissance Man. While he preferred the more traditional Beaux-Arts, Classical, and Colonial Revival styles, Simons had the unique ability to balance traditional and modern styles. He believed preservation in Charleston was about retaining the city's architectural heritage but doing so in a way that allowed the city to grow and progress—to be a living city. Looking forward and simultaneously looking back is quintessentially Charleston and a hallmark of Simons's life and work.
Featuring more than 100 color and black and white photographs and illustrations alongside author Ralph Muldrow's compelling storytelling, this fascinating book reveals the deep connection between Simons and the Charleston cityscape. With a foreword by Witold Rybczynski, the award-winning author of numerous books including Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Ideas in the Holy City, Muldrow's Charleston Renaissance Man is a celebration of Charleston's unique architectural character and the architect who embodied the Charleston Renaissance.