WIT Press

Castle Pinckney


Free (open access)





Page Range

43 - 54




2,371 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. R. Wilson & M. Schara


Castle Pinckney, the oldest surviving fortification in Charleston, South Carolina, was built in 1809 on a small island in the city’s harbor. It remains one of only three surviving examples of an American \“castle,” a rare type of transitional coastal fort, circular in form and lacking angular bastions. The fort played a minor role during the American Civil War and was subsequently decommissioned, passing through the jurisdiction of a number of different government agencies over the past 150 years. Due to lack of funding, Castle Pinckney has essentially languished in abandonment for over a century. In 2011, as a mitigative and educational effort, and as an effort to bring public attention to a significant endangered resource, a documentation project was undertaken of the fort by the Historic American Buildings Survey and by the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program of Clemson University/College of Charleston. Building on this effort, in 2012-2013 a national student design competition will be held to explore ideas for the adaptive reuse of the site. Keywords: American castles, coastal forts, laser scanning. 1 The history of Castle Pinckney 1.1 Early fortifications in Charleston 1.1.1 Colonial Charleston Charleston (originally Charles Towne) was founded in 1670 by Anthony Ashley- Cooper, one of the eight Lord-Proprietors appointed by Charles II for the new Carolina colony. The settlement was strategically located on the peninsula between the newly-named Ashley and Cooper Rivers, inside perhaps the finest


American castles, coastal forts, laser scanning.