So What is That Thing? The Old Brick Facade Behind Harris Teeter

If you live here or visited Charleston, you have probably biked or driven past this strange looking brick facade in ruins, right behind the Harris Teeter grocery store.  What is it? you mutter to yourself…why is it still standing there all by itself?

Photo by Leroy Burnell – Post and Courier

That beautiful facade is the remnants of one of Charleston’s many former rice mills.  This one in particular is Bennett’s Rice Mill and it stands in the middle of State Ports Authority property.  I have always loved this ruin – it is the gateway to another time in Charleston’s history, a reminder of its rich and vibrant past when Carolina Gold rice ruled the world.

It stands there still because preservation covenants in the City of Charleston require that historic facades remain unchanged – in houses too.

Unfortunately, it has fallen into such a state of disrepair that unless something is done to salvage it soon – we might lose a piece of our history.  Rumor has it that if everyone can get their act together, it might become the gateway to a new waterfront park in Downtown Charleston.  Now wouldn’t that be spectacular?

If you want to find out more about how you can help preserve it, a good starting point is Robert Behre’s article in the Post and Courier.

2 Responses to “So What is That Thing? The Old Brick Facade Behind Harris Teeter

  • Mark Fuchs
    14 years ago

    I always wondered about that facade. Thanks for telling something about its history.

  • It’s sad to hear it’s in such a state. Growing up in Charleston and spending a lot of my time downtown that was always such a visual accent as I would go from Mt. Pleasant down East Bay towards the Market. In the’80’s you could still go up to it and walk around it.
    Please update us if there is a fund we can donate to that goes specifically to it to save it.

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