After picking up doughnuts at Diggity Doughnuts and meeting Therese back at the Charleston Embassy Suites, the two of us walked down King Street to pick up our maps and booklets for our afternoon tour of historic homes at the Preservation Society. By then, we were feeling ready for lunch. And since we wanted to stay in the downtown area for lunch, with the tour destinations in that area as well, I suggested we go to 82 Queen, which was no more than half a block from where we stood.
We had been to 82 Queen before, back when we first visited Charleston over Christmas of 2014. We had enjoyed it a great deal then, we enjoyed it once again now. It was warm enough that day to sit outside, but since we had now reservation, we just grabbed a table near the bar. I kept it simple, with a shrimp salad wrap that was full of large chunks of shrimp.
I don’t mind house-made chips, be they of potato or corn, but I have to say, these were a little too well-done for my liking. I ate a few of them, but the truth is I loved the wrap and that was enough to fill me up pretty well.
The way the Architectural Gems tour worked was that we had 3 hours, from 2 to 5pm, to visit as many of the 7 houses on that afternoon’s tour as we wanted to. At each house there were numerous docents manning the doors and in each room of the house to tell us about what we were seeing. And the houses on this tour, to my surprise, were not all necessarily historic homes.
For example, the first one, 23 Longitude Lane, was built in 1961. However, the families that have owned it, especially the current owners, have been careful to use effects to make it look very historic, even artificially aging the house’s beams. We enjoyed all the houses, but my favorite was 50 South Battery. I liked it because the actual owners of what was in this case a condominium (one floor of the house) told us about the work they have done to bring it to the beauty it currently enjoys. And since they were introducing us to their home, they let us see all the rooms, including the bedrooms, while most of the homes only displayed the common areas (living room, dining room and kitchen).
We managed to see all seven of the houses in the time allotted, getting in line to see the final one, 46 King Street, just before 5pm. Sadly, none of them allowed interior photography, and many of them had trees in front of them, making it hard to get a good picture to cement the house in my mind. But it was an enjoyable, enlightening experience. I will leave you with some photos that I WAS able to take, of interesting architectural details of other houses we saw as we walked.