The City Magazine Since 1975

Grand Re-Entrance

Grand Re-Entrance
April 2015
Breathing new life into the Gadsden House—and its gates  

Stroll down East Bay and at number 329, you’ll spot a towering manse undergoing a full-on facelift. King Street Hospitality Group and Luxury Simplified Construction are transforming the circa-1800 Gadsden House into an event space opening this summer.

This estate is steeped in history: Christopher Gadsden, of “Don’t Tread on Me” flag fame, gave his daughter and son-in-law the land on which they built the home. In 1958, Historic Charleston Foundation helped save it from demolition, and before it was sold, the house received a grand add-on—front gates by celebrated area blacksmith Philip Simmons.

“Over time, the house and gates have been neglected,” says Luxury Simplified’s Tim Sites, who is leading the structure’s renovation, while American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) professor Frank Verga revives the gates, each of which bears a coiled rattlesnake in ode to Gadsden. With help from students, Verga is repairing bent pieces, painting, and otherwise returning the wrought-iron beauties to as close to their original condition as possible.

“It’s nice to have a hand in keeping a piece of historic Charleston ironwork alive, as well as allowing Mr. Simmons’ legacy to live on,” he says.