A property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
One of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States, Drayton Hall (1738-1742) has been preserved in its near-original condition as an artifact, rather than being restored with period furnishings. The house had survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, an earthquake in 1886, numerous hurricanes including the devastating Hugo, and the all-consuming sprawl that threatens the entire Ashley River corridor. But the landscape remained unexplored in terms of its preservation treatment until 2002, when the team of Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates (Cambridge, MA), Shelia Wertimer (Charleston, SC), and Suzanne Turner were selected to develop a master plan for the treatment and interpretation of the historic landscape. As team historian, it was Turner’s role to first research and understand the site’s long and complex development, and then to ensure that the significant aspects of the landscape’s story informed the development of a treatment approach that would enable it to be legible and meaningful to the visitor. The resultant plan seeks to establish a balance between the 18th, 19th, and 20th century landscape layers of the site rather than to restore or recreate the landscape as it appeared at one point in time. For more information, see http://www.draytonhall.org/preservation/grounds/.