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Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 128

The window grilles (or grills) at the rear of Grimsley Hall (b. 1991) are quite renowned. They were made by Christopher Werner in 1830. Werner was the same person who made the famous sword gates at 31 Legare Street in Charleston. Both the gates and the window grilles were first installed in the old guard house that stood at the southwest corner of Meeting and Broad Streets, where the post office is now located.

On the night of August 1, 1886, the great earthquake hit Charleston. The old guard house was destroyed, forcing the municipal police to seek other quarters. A new guard house was constructed on a tract of land just west of the old Citadel on Marion Square. The window grilles were removed and installed on its ground floor. Meanwhile, the gates were sold to the Simonton family who installed them at their present location on Legare Street (the Sword Gate House). The lantern that is now over the gates was bought from an old house which formerly stood on Beaufain Street. The gates and the windows thus became separated.

Years later The Citadel bought the guard house building. The police moved to Vanderhorst and St. Philip Streets, but did not take the window grilles with them. When The Citadel moved to its present location in 1922, the windows were brought along and installed in Alumni Hall. Not all the grilles were able to be used when Grimsley Hall replaced Alumni Hall. One of the grilles was used to make a table for General Grimsley. The remaining iron was damaged and discarded.

On the sword window grilles, see: Mary Ellen Zeigler, "Mates of Sword Gates In Use at The Citadel," News and Courier, May 15, 1967, p. 11-A; "Window Grills in Alumni Hall Made by Werner,"Bull Dog, April 8, 1938, p. 3; photo of Lesesne Gate, News and Courier, May 29, 1964, Special Citadel Supplement, p. 4-E.

On Christopher Werner and his ironwork in Charleston see: Alston Deas, The Early Ironwork of Charleston, pp. 30-32. PRIOLEAU ROOM NK8212 .S6 D4 1941; Charles N. Bayless, Charleston Ironwork: A Photographic Study, OVERSIZE 2nd floor NK8212 .B39 1987; Jonathan H. Poston, The Buildings of Charleston, pp. 32, 206, 249, 511. REF NA735 .C35 P67 1997. (HN & DH)

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