Hoban, Mills – our Charleston link

On a recent visit to Charleston, S.C., I took a photo tour much like the ones I offer here in Washington. Maybe I’m a certifiable history geek or just learning how to improve from others, but somewhere during the guide said the building was designed by James Hoban.

“James Hoban who built the White House?” I asked.

Seemed I was the first person my guide Joyce of Charleston History Tours ever encountered who knew who Hoban was. Joyce said George Washington was so impressed with the building pictured above that he commissioned Hoban to build the White House. Wow, who knew.

Later on, we came across a Baptist church that was designed by Robert Mills.

“Robert Mills who built the Washington Monument?” I asked.

Sure enough. Wow, who knew we had two prominent Washington builders with roots from Charleston?

Charleston was recent voted the best place in the world to visit by prominent travel magazine Conde Nast. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s a great place for a long weekend like my wife and I took. There are several Civil War plantations and an ocean beach within 15 minutes of a downtown that’s very walkable, though a little poorly lighted at night coupled with uneven sidewalks that scream sprained ankle. The harbor tour goes to Fort Sumter, the site of the first shots of the Civil War. There’s even a George Washington Park with the statue shown above.

Hey, even tour guides enjoy traveling on vacation.

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