Pointed Perimeter

One of the most interesting houses in old, historic #Charleston is the Tobias Bowles house at 143 Tradd Street. Visitors touring the city are often impressed by the grand structure that stands recessed from the street, as well as its very curious wrought iron gates. The gates are adorned with a series of crossed arrows, which give them a very distinctive look. Bowles had the house built in the 1790’s at a time when this location overlooked the marshes of the Ashley River. Like so many of Charleston’s famous historic houses, it was remodeled in the 1850’s by Solomon Legare, Jr. There has been some question as to the when the gates were added and who did them, but I believe I have the correct answer. Nineteenth century Charleston ironsmith Christopher Werner was the most prolific creator of wrought iron gates from the 1830’s through the 1850’s, and his gate at the Garden Walk off King Street features the exact same arrowhead shape. Also, the enterprising Werner had become involved in building restoration and remodeling by the 1850’s and is very likely the contractor chosen by Legare to redo the house and highlight the structure with a fashionable gate.

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