359 King Street

359 King Street
ca. 1893
Charleston, South Carolina

This commercial building in the heart of the King Street shopping district was built by a furniture purveyor in the late 1800s and conveyed to Rhodes Furniture in 1905.

Rhodes remained the building’s only tenant until the 1980s, after which renovations were undertaken to house The Sportsman’s Shop.  While researching the property, a 1901 engraving of the original façade design was found and the new storefront design was based on this discovery. Additional precedent for the design included intact historic storefronts on King Street. The relationships between recessed entries and sidewalks, as well as floor decorations were studied.

The resulting design was a collaborative effort between Glenn Keyes Architects and Reggie Gibson Architects.  Historic wood windows were restored and a new pressed metal parapet, whose design was based on photographs and a remnant of the original, was fabricated. An encaustic tile "rug" was added to emphasize the new entry. Storefront windows and transoms are defined by copper clad wood over a simple marble base. The resulting composition restores the aesthetic of an historic retail space and its relationship to pedestrian traffic.