Sleight of Height

One of the many great stories in historic Charleston SC is that of the Mills House Hotel on Meeting Street. The hotel was built there in the 1850’s by wealthy merchant Otis Mills, and it survived a huge fire in 1861 when people soaked blankets and sheets to hang from the side closest to the flames. Sadly, the original structure was town down in 1968 to make a larger version and, of course, more money, and although built to look like a carbon copy, two extra floors were added. The original had 5 floors with high ceilings, the replacement has two high ceilings on the first and second floor, but 8-foot ceilings in the 5 on top. Most people who glance at the old and new don’t notice the extra floors.

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