The City Magazine Since 1975

Benjamin Hilke

Benjamin Hilke
April 2010
The owner of green design-build firm Hilke Development talks about tools, accessories, and his new, energy-saving business venture



Beating the Clock: “I think my interest in mechanical things inspired my love of watches. I’ve always admired the Nixon Rotolog, so Hayden gave me this one. I’ve beaten the heck out of it, like everything I own.”



Elemental Symbols: “Beth Coiner custom-made our wedding bands. The insides are engraved with Mountains, Wind, and Sea on one side and Love on the other.”




Sole Purpose: “When it comes to clothing, I look for simple and utilitarian pieces—like these Blundstone boots that I wear to work daily.”


Making the Cut: “My granddad and dad were outdoorsy guys who always stressed the importance of having a good pocketknife. Dad gave me this titanium Benchmade about 15 years ago.”



Artistic Movement: “My friend Jason Graham is a sculptor who makes amazing architectural elements from steel but also plays around crafting custom bicycles.”



Power Up: “I inherited a snobbery about tools from my dad. Festool products are a true luxury because they’re designed to be portable and extremely efficient.”



Style Staple: “Soft, comfortable, one-of-a-kind T-shirts. I don’t like logos unless they have personal significance.”

On His Wish List: “Handmade Japanese cutlery. I enjoy the process of cooking, though my wife feeds me the recipes.”

Sea Side: “After living on a boat for eight years and traveling often to surf, I settled in Charleston largely for the water.”

Latest Project: “I cofounded a new business called One Zone Energy Monitoring Solutions that allows you to see in real time what kind of power, gas, and water you’re using.”