Hurricane Florence isn't the first monster storm Charleston's historic homes have faced, and it won't be the last.
With Hurricane Florence fast approaching, our thoughts are first and foremost with the people and animals who have found themselves in the crosshairs of the catastrophic storm. But we’d be lying if we said the fate of the historic homes that line the coast of the Carolinas hadn’t crossed our minds a few times—Charleston’s sprawling South of Broad beauties in particular.
Luckily, like the wild horses of the Outer Banks, the beloved mansions of The Holy City are more than equipped to weather the storm, as they have for the better part of two centuries. To put it plainly, it’s not their first rodeo.
Kris King, executive director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, explained to Charleston City Paper that the owners of downtown Charleston’s historic homes prepare for hurricanes a bit differently than other homeowners. Firstly, the fact that downtown houses are "so tightly configured," means they're less exposed than homes in other locations. As a result, many homeowners board only one side of their house based on where the prevailing winds are coming from. According to King, piazzas also provide extra protection from the elements.
And because old homes have so many windows–air-conditioning didn’t always exist, y’all—the owners often hire contractors to board up their windows. There are only so many contractors, so planning in advance is key. Many of Charleston’s SOB homes have been boarded up for days now.
Most importantly, King said that historic homes are “overbuilt structurally” and have withstood lots of bad weather in the past.
Isn’t that the truth!