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Gate Keeper

Philip Simmons on the cover of our November 2006 issue; two examples of his ironwork. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards

June 28, 2012

Gate Keeper
Celebrate acclaimed ironworker Philip Simmons, 100th birthday with an historical walking tour

Written by Kelsey Colt

Take a walk around Charleston and you‚'re bound to notice it, intricate ironwork framing porches, accenting gates, and outlining balconies. It‚'s the work of late Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons, who would have been 100 this year. To mark the occasion, the Philip Simmons Foundation is celebrating the National Heritage Award-winning ironworker and you can too, with a guided stroll.

On Saturday, June 30 (and on the fourth Saturday of each month through December), join licensed tour guide Sandra Campbell for "Hearts, Gates, Grills," a walking tour through Ansonborough showcasing Simmons‚ work. The acclaimed blacksmith began creating ornamental ironwork in 1938 and produced more than 500 pieces during his lifetime. Start your own journey of his artistry by viewing his "Heart Gate‚ at St. John‚" Reformed Episcopal Church (91 Anson Street), where Simmons was a lifelong member. Then stop by dozens of examples of his ironwork, such as his ‚"Lyre‚" gate at 65 Alexander Street. Complete the tour back in St. John‚ Heart Garden for refreshments. Tickets are $25, and proceeds benefit the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.

To find out more about the tour, click here.

To learn more about the life and work of Philip Simmons, read our 2006 feature, "The Philip Simmons Project" photographed by Peter Frank Edwards.

To find more events going on this weekend, click here.

Thu, 06/28/2012