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The Fort at Colonial Dorchester (Source: fortdorchester.org)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Students from the American College of the Building Arts are helping South Carolina tell the story of one of its earliest colonial sites Colonial Dorchester. The college in Charleston is the only four-year college in the nation teaching traditional building arts such as stone carving, timber framing and ornamental iron work. Now students at the college are helping the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism in crafting an exhibit at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site near Summerville. It'll be shown off for the first time Friday. The site includes the remains of a colonial town near the coast that flourished from the late 1600s through the beginning of Revolutionary War. The exhibit work at the site is being made possible by a grant from MeadWestvaco. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (#)

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5/9/2013 4:53 PM


SUMMERVILLE, SC: Building Arts students lend hand to SC historic site ...

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Published: April 28, 2013

Carson Whitmore of Lookout Mountain, Ga., a student at the American College of Building Arts, lays bricks April 26, 2013, at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in Summerville, SC. The bricks will outline the foundation of a home dating to the early 1700s so visitors will have an idea of the structure that once stood there. Currently at the site, one of the oldest colonial sites in South Carolina, only the remains of a church bell tower and a stockade remain. Bruce Smith — AP Bricks now outline long-gone structures at Colonial Dorchester The Associated Press SUMMERVILLE, SC — In one of the more unusual final exams taken in college this semester, students from the American College of the Building Arts laid bricks on Friday at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic site to help tell the story of one of South Carolina’s earliest colonial settlements. The students have worked in recent weeks to lay bricks outlining the foundation of a house that was one of about 50 in the once-bustling trading town of Dorchester dating to the 1600s. On Friday they were laying six courses of brick at the corners of the outlined foundation to make it more visible to

5/9/2013 4:42 PM


SUMMERVILLE, SC: Building Arts students lend hand to SC historic site ...

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visitors. Until the foundation work, all that could be seen at the site were the remains of a church tower and a stockade. But the foundations of as many as 200 buildings are underground, even though only about 1 percent of the site has been excavated. “A lot of times you may do a project that will disappear. But this is a live project and they have to get it right,” said Simeon Warren, the dean of the college. ... This is their final exam.” The Charleston school is the only four-year college in the nation teaching traditional building arts such as stone carving and timber framing. “I’m impressed. I’ve really enjoyed working out here,” said Chris Whitmore, a freshman from Lookout Mountain, Ga. Colonial Dorchester is on the site of a town that flourished from the late 1600s through the beginning of the Revolutionary War when trading patterns changed and the town withered away. The work on the site is being done with a $7,200 grant from MeadeWestvaco Corp., the company that donated the site to the state in 1969. “It’s very unique and one of the richest archeological places in the United States to see what went on in the colonial period,” said Duane Parrish, the director of the state Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism. Artifacts ranging from old bottles and smoking pipes to a rare bottle seal have been uncovered at the site. “This is an amazing site and is sometimes overshadowed by Charlestown Landing,” said Kenneth Seeger, the director of community development and land management for MeadeWestvaco. “But it’s a very significant community that had over 200 structures and was a center of trade for almost 100 years.” Charlestown Landing, in Charleston, is where the first English settlers landed in South Carolina. “Essentially what we have here is a colonial town beneath our feet,” said Ashley Chapman, the manager for the historic site “Standing here 250 years ago, you would have been surrounded by shops, warehouses, buildings, a school and two taverns – a complete town site.” Showing the foundations will help in understanding the site, he said. “One issue is that once we do the archaeology we have to cover it back up. Projects like this are allowing us to bring the archaeology to the town and give visitors a better idea of where all these buildings were,” he said.d Back to Top < Previous Story Richland 1 honor rolls Next Story > SC OKs $34 million to renovate 3 USC dorms Email Newsletters > Manage newsletter subscriptions Tablets > Apps and services for tablet devices Mobile > Apps and services for your mobile phone Social Media > Get updates via Facebook and Twitter e-Edition > Your daily paper delivered to your computer Home Delivery > Manage your home delivery account Digital Subscriptions > Manage your online subscriptions

5/9/2013 4:42 PM


Partnership reveals Colonial Dorchester | Journal Scene

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By Leslie Cantu The Journal Scene

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Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:01 p.m. UPDATED: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:04 p.m.

Leslie Cantu/Journal Scene -- Brian Solomon, a student in the trowel trades at the American College of the Building Arts, works on his corner of the foundation. Solomon said he likes that the program focuses on a different craft each year for three years. -

Leslie Cantu/Journal Scene -- Sam Friedman, a student in the trowel trades at the American College of the Building Arts, works on his corner of the foundation. He plans to specialize in stonecarving and would like to work on historic cathedrals in Europe. --

Four freshmen at the American College of Building Arts endured a very public final examination Friday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in addition to an audience of reporters asking them questions as they worked, their work will forever be part of the terrain at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site. They laid brick showing the outlines of the foundation of the 16th-century Izard House; future classes will continue the work by showing some of the interior details like doors and fireplaces. The project will help visitors to better visualize how the site once looked. With the exception of the St. Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bell tower, Colonial Dorchester today is a quiet green space. Before the American Revolution, however, it was a pleasant

5/9/2013 4:46 PM


Partnership reveals Colonial Dorchester | Journal Scene

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village and trading spot along the Ashley River. Beneath the grass and trees on the site today are the remains of homes and businesses, making the site “one of the most significant archeological sites in the United States for colonial period research,” according to Park Manager Ashley Chapman. Leslie Cantu/Journal Scene -- Most of the site remains buried, “still here waiting to be This explanatory sign shows discovered,” he said. the outline of the foundation The partnership between the park and the college was facilitated and what the house might by MeadWestvaco, which saw an opportunity to bring together have looked like. The students two entities that hadn’t worked together before. are creating a threedimensional representation of MeadWestvaco funded the work with a grant of about $7,000, the foundation outline, to and the college provided the labor and planning. better help visitor visualize the Simeon Warren, dean of the college, said it took three years of house. -planning to get to the point of actually building the outline. The students had to develop a plan that would be acceptable to the state park system and wouldn’t affect the environment or the original foundation, he said. The foundation is being built with modern brick, he said, to make it clear the structure is a replica and not the original. Although the brick and tools are modern, the techniques are classical, said retired Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater, president of the college. The college is always looking for opportunities for students to work on real projects that benefit the community, as opposed to creating items in class and then destroying them, he said. Kenneth Seeger, president of MWV Community Development and Land Management, was on hand Friday to watch the students work. The site was in MeadWestvaco’s hands for a time, but the company donated it to the state parks in 1969. “It’s great for the community to learn more about their roots,” he said. Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, agreed. The department is looking at ways to partner with the town of Summerville, which recently annexed the site, in areas like adding docents or hosting reenactments, he said. Attendance at state parks was at an all-time high last year, and he expects the numbers to be as large or larger this year.

5/9/2013 4:46 PM


Building Arts students lend hand to South Carolina state park | The August...

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Associated Press Friday, April 26, 2013

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — In one of the more unusual final exams taken in college this semester, students from the American College of the Building Arts laid bricks Friday at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic site to help tell the story of one of South Carolina’s earliest colonial settlements. The students have worked to lay bricks outlining the foundation of a house that was one of about 50 in the trading town of Dorchester dating to the 1600s. On Friday they were laying six courses of brick at the corners of the outlined foundation to make it more visible. Until the foundation work, all that could be seen at the site were the remains of a church tower and a stockade. But the foundations of as many as 200 buildings are underground, even though only about 1 percent of the site has been excavated. “A lot of times you may do a project that will disappear. But this is a live project and they have to get it right,” said Simeon Warren, the dean of the college. “If they get it wrong, I get it into trouble. If they get it wrong, they get in into trouble. This is their final exam.” The Charleston school is the only four-year college in the nation teaching traditional building arts. “I’m impressed. I’ve really enjoyed working out here,” said Carson Whitmore, a freshman from Lookout Mountain, Ga. Colonial Dorchester is on the site of a town that flourished from the late 1600s through the beginning of Revolutionary War when trading patterns changed and the town withered away. The work on the site is being done with a $7,200 grant from MeadeWestvaco Corp., the company that donated the site to the state in 1969. “It’s very unique and one of the richest archeological places in the United States to see what went on in the colonial period,” said Duane Parrish, the director of the state Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism. “This is an amazing site and is sometimes overshadowed by Charleston Landing,” said Kenneth Seeger, the director of community development and land management for MeadeWestvaco. “But it’s a very significant community that had over 200 structures and was a center of trade for almost 100 years.” Charlestown Landing, in Charleston, is where the first English settlers landed in South Carolina. “Essentially what we have here is a colonial town beneath our feet,” said Ashley Chapman, the manager for the historic site. “Standing here 250 years ago, you would have been surrounded by shops, warehouses, buildings, a school and two taverns – a complete town site.” Showing the foundations will help in understanding the site, he said. “One issue is that once we do the archaeology we have to cover it back up. Projects like this are allowing us to bring the archaeology to the town and give visitors a better idea of where all these buildings were,” he said.

5/9/2013 4:51 PM


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Published: April 26, 2013 The Associated Press SUMMERVILLE, S.C. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; In one of the more unusual final exams taken in college this semester, students from the American College of the Building Arts laid bricks on Friday at the Colonial Dorchester State Historic site to help tell the story of one of South Carolina's earliest colonial settlements. The students have worked in recent weeks to lay bricks outlining the foundation of a house that was one of about 50 in the once-bustling trading town of Dorchester dating to the 1600s. On Friday they were laying six courses of brick at the corners of the outlined foundation to make it more visible to visitors. Until the foundation work, all that could be seen at the site were the remains of a church tower and a stockade. But the foundations of as many as 200 buildings are underground, even though only about 1 percent of the site has been excavated. "A lot of times you may do a project that will disappear. But this is a live project and they have to get it right," said Simeon Warren, the dean of the college. "If they get it wrong, I get it into trouble. If they get it wrong, they get in into trouble. This is their final exam." The Charleston school is the only four-year college in the nation teaching traditional building arts such as stone carving and timber framing. "I'm impressed. I've really enjoyed working out here," said Chris Whitmore, a freshman from Lookout Mountain, Ga. Colonial Dorchester is on the site of a town that flourished from the late 1600s through the beginning of Revolutionary War when trading patterns changed and the town withered away. The work on the site is being done with a $7,200 grant from MeadeWestvaco Corp., the company that donated the site to the state in 1969. " It's very unique and one of the richest archeological places in the United States to see what went on in the colonial period," said Duane Parrish, the director of the state Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism. Artifacts ranging from old bottles and smoking pipes to a rare bottle seal have been uncovered at the site. "This is an amazing site and is sometimes overshadowed by Charleston Landing," said Kenneth Seeger, the director of community development and land management for MeadeWestvaco. "But it's a very significant community that had over 200 structures and was a center of trade for almost 100 years." Charlestown Landing, in Charleston, is where the first English settlers landed in South Carolina. "Essentially what we have here is a colonial town beneath our feet," said Ashley Chapman, the manager for the historic site "Standing here 250 years ago, you would have been surrounded by shops, warehouses, buildings, a school and two taverns - a complete town site." Showing the foundations will help in understanding the site, he said. "One issue is that once we do the archaeology we have to cover it back up. Projects like this are allowing us to bring the archaeology to the town and give visitors a better idea of where all these buildings were," he said.

5/6/2013 10:26 AM


The Post and Courier BEHRE COLUMN: An elegant old gate motif graces new place Robert Behre Twitter

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Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 12:09 a.m. UPDATED: Monday, November 5, 2012 12:10 a.m.

robert behre/staff The original Sword Gates at 32 Legare St. were fashioned by ironworker Christopher Werner in the 19th century, likely for city Guard House, or police station. Buy this photo

It may seem unlikely that a football stadium would draw inspiration from an elegant home on

Robert Behre

lower Legare Street. But it’s just the most recent example of how Charleston’s architectural past continues to shape its future. It’s also a story of how one college can help a very different one. Those attending The Citadel’s homecoming game against Elon Saturday probably walked past a new memorial to the members of the Class of 1962, the newest ornament to the pedestrian plaza outside Johnson Hagood Stadium. If the flanking wrought iron pieces seem familiar, they should be.


If the flanking wrought iron pieces seem familiar, they should be.

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The Citadel's Wrought Iron

Drew Reynolds, a recent graduate of the American College of Building Arts, carefully patterned the 5-foot square panels after Charleston’s Sword Gates. Those 19th-century gates provided the namesake for the mansion at 32 Legare St. and were made by ironworker Christopher Werner.

Werner apparently made them by mistake while completing a similar pair for the (now demolished) Charleston Guard House at Broad and Meeting streets, according to Jonathan Poston’s “The Buildings of Charleston.” These gates were hung outside the Legare Street home by 1850 and have become one of the most famous pieces of wrought iron in a city with more than its share of it. Their elegant curls frame a pair of horizontal swords at arm’s level. The Citadel’s idea of drawing inspiration from these gates is far from new: The sword motif also is present at The Citadel’s existing Lesene and Summerall gates where the school abuts Hampton Park. They were installed in 1955 and 1958, respectively. Also, the window grilles behind Grimsley Hall were made by Werner in the 19th century, for the Guard House, the city’s police headquarters destroyed by the 1886 earthquake. The grilles were reused on a later Guardhouse and eventually were acquired by The Citadel and moved to its 20th-century campus. The latest aren’t gates but panels (those wondering if something similar will be created in the matching recesses on the opposite side of the stadium’s entrance can ask the S.C. National Guard, which shares the building with The Citadel and has control over that space). With the ironwork set just a few inches from the backing stucco, the panels’ appearance can change pretty dramatically as the sun moves around the sky, creating different shadows. The gate panels are part of a larger, $100,000 project to landscape the space between the football stadium and Hagood Avenue — a space dedicated in memory of the fallen members of the Class of ’62. The survivors gave the school more than 10 times that amount, most of which will be used for the school’s greatest needs. American College of the Building Arts President Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater says Reynolds’ work is just one of many examples of how his college collaborates with the wider community to create beautiful and lasting things. The new gate panels give an elegant hand-fashioned touch to a stadium whose own design and construction underscores how much that kind of craft is missing in modern buildings today. “Those gates are every bit as good as any that Christopher Werner put out and Philip Simmons put out,” Broadwater says. “We’re just continuing on in their tradition.” Of course, Reynolds spent about a year and a half and more than 600 man hours fashioning the pieces. Citadel President John Rosa said the school already has received a lot of positive calls about the gates. “They said, ‘They look like they came from Charleston,’ ” Rosa said. “I said that was the point.”


Colonial Dorchester re-creation begun by American College of the Buildi...

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Grace Beahm/File/Staff Colonial Dorchester was one of the 1600s’ “lost towns” of inland settlement in the region. The picture above shows the walled fort and remains of the powder magazine. Buy this photo

SUMMERVILLE — They call them ghost structures, frame skeletons of buildings that some designers use to portray lost historic homes. At Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, rangers wanted something subtler among the trees to convey the village that stood there. The first footings are now down, a brick foundation and dividers suggesting the rooms of the

5/6/2013 9:53 AM


Colonial Dorchester re-creation begun by American College of the Buildi...

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Izard house, so visitors can step inside and imagine what it was like. The project is a pivotal step transforming the park to an interactive archaeological effort, engaging visitors with the people who lived in one of the oldest preserved inland villages in South Carolina. With the structure, and an active dig of the Blake house nearby, Colonial Dorchester might have the only now-and-then exhibit of its kind, said S.C. Parks archaeologist Larry James. The re-creation completed Friday is the first in a series planned by Simeon Warren of the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston as student projects. It was paid for by a grant from MeadWestvaco. “It’s a subtle idea, how to represent an imagined space, very gently and in line with the landscape.” Warren said. “People can walk in and are drawn more and more into what used to be.” The next project is for students to figure out how to minimally portray structures such as fireplaces, he said. The concept could be carried over to other house sites, to suggest the village. Colonial Dorchester was one of the 1600s’ “lost towns” of inland settlement in the region. It was at one time the third largest town in the state, stretching a half-mile from a wharf on the Ashley River. Little remains above ground today besides a tabby fort and the St. George Church belltower.

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744.

5/6/2013 9:53 AM


30 October 2012

The Citadel and College of the Building Arts collaborate on preservation effort The Citadel and the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) have collaborated to preserve the art of iron working and foster continued appreciation for Charleston history. Two decorative sword gates now hang on the pedestrian plaza at Johnson Hagood Stadium in honor of the Class of 1962. Created by ACBA recent graduate Drew Reynolds, the sword gate panels have been produced in image and the same fashion as the 1838 originals that adorn the entry to the Sword Gate House at 32 Legare St., in downtown Charleston. They also are reminiscent of other iron sword gates on The Citadel campus and window grills at the original Citadel on Marion Square. “We were extremely pleased to collaborate with The Citadel on this project,” said retired Lt. Gen. Colby M. Broadwater III, president of ACBA and Citadel Class of 1972. “We think the evocative design complements the existing examples of wrought iron on campus and demonstrates that superb craftsmanship is alive and thriving in Charleston.” The stadium sword gate panels measure approximately 5 feet by 5.5 feet and were handmade using traditional techniques – hand-hammered iron, rivets, collars and forge welding. Reynolds, 23, has been working with metals for eight years. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., he majored in forged architectural metals at ACBA. The American College of the Building Arts is the only college that awards a bachelor’s of applied -moreAchieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston SC 29409 (843) 953-6779 Fax: (843) 953-6767 www.citadel.edu oea@citadel.edu


science in one of six trade majors within the traditional building arts: architectural stone carving, carpentry, forged architectural ironwork, preservation masonry, plaster working, or timber framing. The sword gate ironwork is also located at Lesesne Gate, the main entrance to campus; the Summerall Gate connecting the campus to Hampton Park, and behind Grimsley Hall. The Class of 1962 will dedicate the gates and the stadium plaza at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 2, as part of The Citadel’s Homecoming festivities. Celebrating its 50th reunion this year, the Class of 1962 exceeded its $3 million reunion campaign goal by raising more than $5.1 million, including the $1.1 million to name the stadium plaza in memory of deceased classmates. Through this gift, the Class of 1962 has made possible the landscaping and streetscape work along Hagood Avenue in front of the football stadium. The stadium plaza beautification project, including the construction and installation of the sword gate panels, cost approximately $100,000, leaving the balance of the Class of 1962’s generous gift to support the greatest needs of the college. “As part of the Class of 1962 Plaza at Johnson Hagood Stadium, the sword gate panels provide an evocative physical illustration of The Citadel’s vital link to the Charleston community and its extraordinary history,” said Laura Jordan, director of Class Reunion Campaigns at The Citadel Foundation. “This project represents philanthropy at its finest. The Citadel is grateful to the Class of 1962 and the tremendous impact their gift will have on future generations of principled leaders.”

Photo caption: Courtesy of American School of the Building Arts. Student blacksmith Drew Reynolds hangs the sword gate panels at Johnson Hagood Stadium at The Citadel with the help of Josh Kean, a second year iron student.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston SC 29409 (843) 953-6779 Fax: (843) 953-6767 www.citadel.edu oea@citadel.edu


Expat lives: Sweet Carolina - FT.com

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July 27, 2012 9:47 pm

By David Kaufman

©Milton Morris

Bruno Sutter on Folly Beach near Charleston, South Carolina

s a man who loves snowboarding, traditional French cuisine and the Alps, South Carolina’s hot and humid “Low Country” is an unusual base for Frenchman Bruno Sutter. But for Sutter, who is a traditionally trained craftsman, the historic city of Charleston answers both his personal and professional passions. Perched at the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Ashley River, Charleston is best known for its trove of pristinely preserved Colonial and Federalist-era buildings. It’s also the home of the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) – the country’s only higher education institute offering a four-year degree in the trades of pre-industrialised Europe and America. Founded in 1989 by local preservationists and politicians, the ACBA recruited Sutter in 2005 as a professor of timber framing – the ancient art of hand-binding wooden structures. Sutter was one of the school’s first hires, lured from France where he had recently completed more than a decade of timber framing training with the Compagnon, a collective of artisan guilds that has educated craftsmen since the Middle Ages. With its equal focus on practical and theoretical instruction,

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7/30/2012 2:37 PM


Expat lives: Sweet Carolina - FT.com

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Sutter’s ACBA professorship offered a hands-on opportunity to put his Compagnon education to work. “I wanted to help set up in America the kind of training system we have in Europe,” he says, “but in four years rather than 10.” Despite a year-long stint working for a timber-framing firm in New Hampshire as part of his Compagnon work, Sutter says he had “mixed feelings” about Charleston when he first arrived. On the one hand, the city’s compact, pedestrian-friendly layout and strong historical roots felt familiar and approachable. “With no skyscrapers and excellent preservation, Charleston feels much as it did 200 years ago, but is still big enough to feel like a real city,” says Sutter, who lives just outside of the city in a two-bedroom condominium he owns on James Island, a short drive from Charleston’s city centre across the Ashley River. “It’s certainly among the most ‘European’ of all American cities,” he adds. The area’s rich architectural detail and heritage serve as a laboratory of sorts for his classwork. But Charleston’s stifling summers and flat terrain meant an end to Sutter’s beloved snowboarding and Alpine hikes. Today, he has traded his snowboard for a surfboard and rides the waves of Folly Beach close to Charleston, or drives down to Coco Beach or St Augustine a few hours south in Florida. “When the waves are good, I try to surf as much as I can,” says Sutter, who teaches both in the ACBA’s main Charleston campus in a restored 210-year-old jail and in its satellite workshop close to his home on James Island. The best waves, however, are down in the Osa Peninsula on the pacific coast of Costa Rica. There Sutter has set up a small construction business applying traditional timber-framing techniques to tropical wood structures. “Most of my time off from the school is now spent in Costa Rica,” says Sutter, who often brings ACBA students along for laborious and adventurous summer internships. Besides wood, Sutter says food is his other main passion and – along with Alpine snow – one of the things he misses most about Europe. He’s found good wine and decent dining in Charleston, but still longs for the French dishes of his youth. Despite Charleston’s much-lauded culinary movement, his favourite dishes are hard to come by in the south. It’s not just the food itself, Sutter says, but the ways his family both sourced and consumed them. “I grew up in the countryside where my parents had a large garden which grew much of what we ate,” recalls Sutter, who was raised in the Alsatian village of Grussenheim close to the Franco-German border. “Everything was natural and organic – there were never any pesticides used – and this is what I miss most,” he says. “Along with how the French eat – sitting down, with proper lunch breaks and enjoying life instead of just focusing on making money.” Unsurprisingly, slowing down and enjoying Charleston has become a priority for Sutter – despite his class-work and Costa Rican side projects. Indeed, the notion of “slowness” runs throughout much of Sutter’s history – from the decade he spent mastering timber framing, to

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7/30/2012 2:37 PM


Expat lives: Sweet Carolina - FT.com

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the substantial time required to meticulously put the technique into practice. Living on James Island – with its shady, open spaces and relaxed vibe – is a relief from Charleston’s tourist throngs as well as its higher housing costs. “Life is easy in Charleston,” says Sutter, with the laid-back ease of a stereotypical southerner. “Even if it is just too hot and humid during the summer.” Even in the heat, Sutter likes strolling along Charleston’s palmetto-lined streets. He often stumbles across churches or homes filled with the type of timber frame work that he so admires. They’re remnants not only of America’s past, but of Sutter’s own past back in Europe. And sharing these finds with his students, he says, is as thrilling as discovering them. “I want to show them that it’s about making things that will last, and not just making them fast,” he says. “We are not merely creating for a single generation, but for centuries – and Charleston perfectly demonstrates this ideal.” ....................................................................... Buying guide Pros ● Charleston’s small size and orderly streets are pedestrian-friendly ● Elegant, colonial-era architecture throughout Charleston’s historic core ● The city is emerging as the hub of “New Southern” cuisine Cons ● Extremely hot and humid summers ● Property in Charleston’s colonial-era centre is expensive ● Although Charleston is progressive, South Carolina is squarely in America’s conservative belt What you can buy for ... $100,000 A one-eighth share in a one-bedroom apartment at The Residences on King – a new fractional ownership development in downtown Charleston $1m A three-floor, three-bedroom stucco and red-brick home on Magazine Street in the heart of Charleston’s historic core, originally built in 1775 Contacts

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7/30/2012 2:37 PM


Expat lives: Sweet Carolina - FT.com

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Colby Broadwater: The military man who took charge of Building Arts - P...

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:01 a.m. Twitter

photos by Grace Beahm/Staff Retired Army Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater is president of the American College of the Building Arts, where there is evidence of past and present meeting even in classrooms that are lined with lead left from when the building housed the Old City Jail. Buy this photo

When he got there, retired Army Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater faced a few problems. The American College of the Building Arts, which had made the Old City Jail on Magazine Street its base, couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t manage its $3 million budget. It owned too much property. It was stuck in expensive service contracts it couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford. It was struggling to pay salaries. And all the while, it was trying to improve its academic position so it might become an accredited

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institution. Broadwater, accustomed to managing military officers and staffs, overseeing large budgets and putting new training regimens in place, was up for the challenge. “All of that is just business in a different context,” he said.

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So in April 2008, he took command. The Building Arts board figured it would take two years to turn things around. Five months later, the Great Recession struck, slowing down Broadwater’s efforts to achieve stability.

But he and his team did it. The budget was slashed to $1.5 million and has remained balanced since 2010, contracts were canceled, new partnerships forged. Accreditation is well under Will way (it’s needed to qualify for government funding), and the school has received high marks for its mixed curriculum. The McSwain, who specializes in timber framing at the American freshman class is the biggest it’s ever been, with 25 recruits College of the Building Arts, eagerly pursuing a variety of crafts such as plastering, masonry, organizes his portfolio in the stone carving, ironworking, timber framing, carpentry and more. school library. The library has doubled in size, and donated volumes have tripled its inventory.

“This year should be a high point,” Broadwater said. Simeon Warren, dean of the college, said it has taken a decade to reach the cusp of accreditation. The school had its beginnings in 2001 and opened its doors in 2005. In seven years, enrollment has grown to about 50 students. (It takes at least 80 students before tuition can cover operating costs, Broadwater noted.)

William Bates lectures during Most of the staff and faculty are young and likely to be around for an architectural design class a while, Warren said. at the American College of the Building Arts. “It’s good to have a leader who provides a stable influence on the

Q&A with Michael Bartelle Michael Bartelle met Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater in the military and served with him at the beginning of the Iraq War. The two have remained good friends. The Post and Courier

institution,” he said. “It’s good to have an experienced leader at the top.”

Broadwater, 62, was born at Fort Benning, Ga., and graduated from The Citadel in 1972 with a field artillery commission. His father was a career Army officer who served in World War II,

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asked Bartelle, a longtime friend of Broadwater’s, to shed some light on the general.

Q: How do you know Gen. Broadwater? When did you first meet and under what circumstances? What were your first impressions? A: We met in early 2003 when he was assigned to command the Joint Task Force that would assist in the facilitation of the Northern Option for Phase I of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was selected to be his senior enlisted adviser and found him to be a serious intellectual with a soldier/statesman’s ability to bridge the competing interests of the U.S. and Turkish governments.

Q: He’s got a serious interest in antique porcelain, which he collects. What does that say about his personality? A: His collections in general speak volumes of his meticulous nature, but the porcelain may show his more gentler side of his romantic notions of history.

Q: Give me a sense of his leadership skills. How can he apply his military training to running the American College

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Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a colonel. His grandfather served, too. His son, Marshall, a captain in the Green Berets, just returned from Afghanistan. He married a Lowcountry girl, Jane Mason, who grew up in Summerville (her mother still lives there). His mom and three sisters are in Columbia along with Jane’s sister. So as his military career wound down, it was pretty obvious where the couple would settle. “Jane’s intention always was to return to Charleston,” he said. But before retiring from the Army in 2006, Broadwater accomplished a few things. He got his start at Fort Bragg and did two tours in Europe, where he commanded two batteries as brigade operations officer. He worked up to chief of staff of the U.S. European Command and commanding general of the 1st Army and U.S. Army-NATO, helping to develop a new training regimen for an Army that he said was “ill-disciplined, untrained, lacking qualified noncommissioned officers” after the Vietnam War. Broadwater witnessed the transformation of the Army from its early volunteer days after the war to the professional, high-tech body of soldiers it would become in time for Desert Shield-Desert Storm. He fell in love with old houses many years ago in northeastern Mississippi near Columbus, where a beautiful old mansion stood vacant except when used as a lodge by hunters. His father had been posted to the area to support West Point reservists. When someone bought the old place and restored it, the newspapers tracked the progress — and so did Broadwater. He had been seduced by the art of restoration. Years ago while living at Fort Hood, Texas, a friend who ran an antiques shop got Broadwater interested in French porcelain. He needed some to flesh out his home, full of American Federal furniture, when he decided to open it to the public for tours. Soon he was a collector with an eye ever open for 18th- and

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of the Building Arts?

19th-century “white gold.”

A: I received a great sense of the person he is through our travels, both in and out of hostile areas, but the interesting comment that has stuck with me occurred at the conclusion of our initial meeting: After receiving my role within the JTF, he said, “Never be afraid to tell the emperor when he has no clothes.” This indicated to me that he was a person with the confidence to manage, coupled with the humility to lead.

Today, his collection includes hundreds of pieces: cups and saucers purchased in Houston; a coffee pot, creamer and sugar bowl bought in Europe. He frequents flea markets and antiques stores, putting together sets little by little.

He is a caring leader with total regard for the skills, knowledge and aptitude of others. He uses this as a motivational tool, thereby accentuating the positive contributions of everyone around him. In a simple phrase: “Demanding, but caring.”

His prize porcelain possession is a dinner service featuring Marie Antoinette’s favorite design: the cornflower.

At the college, the size of the library has doubled, and donated volumes have tripled its inventory. Classrooms have been added. The school has its sights on an industrial building on Upper Meeting Street, where its work studios might soon be located. All of this helps teachers implement what they call an integrated curriculum. This means that when they study classical Greek architecture, they are reading the Greek myths and learning about Greek politics and government. When they learn about ironworking, they are introduced to the artisanship of blacksmiths such as Philip Simmons. When teaching students how to hammer together a theater-in-the-round, they read Shakespeare. “So when someone leaves here, he understands why the Globe Theatre was built that way and why Shakespeare wrote the way he did,” Broadwater said.

Adam Parker

Cameron Wright, a 19-year-old sophomore, is specializing in carpentry. He said he learned about the College of Building Arts a few years ago when students and faculty from the college were in his hometown of Columbus, Ga., to work on the windows of an old mill. “The city fell in love with the school” because of the fine work it did, Wright said. His family was in the construction business, and Wright intended to join the home-building trade. When he was asked to consider attending the College of Building Arts on scholarship, he jumped at the chance. Jared Wilson, a 22-year-old junior, wants to be a timber framer. He had attended some college and held a few construction jobs, but it’s traditional joinery and compound roof systems that get his blood flowing, he said.

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“I like the idea of working with larger timbers.” Ever since he was a kid, the topic interested him. He was an avid Lego and Lincoln Log innovator, he said. He heard about the college through word of mouth in 2010 and knew that’s where he’d go. And he doesn’t regret it, Wilson said. The teachers are also tradesmen, and everyone works together well. Since classrooms interact and often join forces, students gain a better understanding of each others’ work. “It gives you a broad vision of what you want to do,” he said. The two young men said they appreciate Broadwater’s leadership. He interacts a lot with students, they said. “It seems like he’s really focused on getting the school better,” Wright said. James Waddell, vice president of operations and finance, works closely with Broadwater. “He’s very straightforward,” Waddell said. “There is no question about what he wants to get done. ... My job is to get it done.” The two men met at The Citadel, and they were in Germany at the same time, “but I never knew he was there,” Waddell said. So there was a 38-year gap that closed a few years ago when Waddell came to the college, first as a volunteer and then as a full-time staffer. Now, each Tuesday, the general presides over the all-staff meeting, sharing his vision. “He’s a long-range thinker,” Waddell said. “He brings up topics the rest of the staff has to think about.” And so they do. But what they think about most is the mission. “Our job is to educate artisans on skills that are disappearing, and to help them find work and make a difference in their communities,” he said. “That’s the main thing.” Reach Adam Parker at 937-5902. Follow him at www.facebook.com/aparkerwriter.

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