The Inn at Middleton Place turn 25 years old this June. And while that doesn't seem like a major anniversary in a town with a 300-year history, its design, location, layout – its personality – continue to make the Inn one of the most interesting lodging facilities in Charleston. The Inn at Middleton Place will celebrates its silver anniversary from June 25, 2012 to June 25, 2013 with a series of giveaways to guests of the Inn on the 25th of each month.
The Inn at Middleton Place opened in 1987 and was immediately hailed for its modern design and environmentally-sensitive layout. The Inn was designed and executed by W.G. Clark and Charles Menefee of Charleston. Lead architect W.G. Clark approached the design with a variety of factors in mind. First, he wanted the buildings to complement historic Charleston architecture; more specifically, the architectural ruins that seem to be emerging out of the earth and ancient forests and can still be found throughout the Low Country. In previous interviews, Clark pointed to the ruins of the Old Sheldon Church in Yemassee, S.C. as inspiration, saying if one were to come out of the woods on the back side of the Inn, the structures would appear to be unoccupied, as if they had always been there.
The second point is paramount. Clark wanted the Inn's buildings to blend into the natural landscape. As few trees as possible were removed or disturbed during construction, and over the years, fig vines have grown to cover many of the Inn's exterior walls. By design, the woods surrounding the Inn seem to be reclaiming the buildings, blending them seamlessly into the 100-year-old live oaks, Spanish moss, and other flora found along the banks of the Ashley River. Even the Inn's 55 guest rooms, with their extensive use of cypress and minimal apparent design remind one more of a quaint cabin in the woods or the hold of some ancient ship.
Clark once wrote of his philosophy of architecture that all building should be atonement for the disturbance of the land. "At the necessary juncture of culture and place, architecture seeks not only the minimal ruin of landscape, but something more difficult: a replacement of what was lost with something that atones for that loss," he wrote in a 1991 essay titled Replacement. "In the best architecture, this replacement is through an intensification of the place, where it emerges no worse for human intervention, where culture's shaping of the place to specific use results in a heightening of the beauty of the landscape. In these places we seem worthy of existence." The Inn at Middleton Place is a prime and successful example of that sentiment. Clark and Menefee's work paid off. The Inn at Middleton Place was immediately recognized for its outstanding concept and design by the American Institute for Architecture with its Honor Award, the profession's highest accolade for individual buildings by American architects.
Today the Inn at Middleton Place is one of the more romantic getaways in Charleston and draws out-of-town visitors and locals alike. They are drawn to the natural beauty of the dirt paths, landscape, and waterway that surround the property. Admission to Middleton Place – home to America's oldest formal landscaped gardens – helps seal the experience, and is included with each room rental.
Inn at Middleton Place 25th of Each Month Celebration
In a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Inn at Middleton Place is giving away special gifts to guests staying at the Inn on the 25th of each month from June 2012 to June 2013. Following is the complete list.
Monday, June 25, 2012: A one-hour horseback tour from the Middleton Place Equestrian Center.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012: Passes to the weekly Wine Stroll at Middleton Place.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012: A copy of Middleton Place: A Phoenix Still Rising.
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012: A VIP Tour of Middleton Place.
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012: A self-guided kayak tour of the Ashley River from Charleston Kayak Company
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012: Admission to the African American Focus Tour at Middleton Place and complimentary in-room local wine and treats.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012: Complimentary hearty breakfast cooked to order.
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013: Two appetizers or desserts with your dinner reservation to the Middleton Place Restaurant.
Monday, Feb. 25, 2013: A free carriage tour of Middleton Place.
Monday, March 25, 2013: A "Locals Only" gift basket.
Thursday, April 25, 2013: Admission and house tour at the Edmondston-Alston House, another Middleton Place Foundation property, at 21 East Battery in downtown Charleston.
Saturday, May 25, 2013: Lunch on us! Join us at the Lodge for a Picnic on the Bluff.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013: An end of the year cocktail party for all guests at the Inn.