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Collection Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

South Carolina to Texas

Drayton Hall, Charleston vicinity, South Carolina.

Detail of [Southwest elevation. Measured drawing delineated by Ken Breuer, 1974.] (Reproduction Number: HABS SC,10-CHAR.V,8, sheet 7 of 14; negative number LC-USZA1-1334)

Begun in 1738 for John Drayton, a prominent official and businessman in colonial South Carolina, Drayton Hall is one of the finest and best-preserved Georgian Palladian houses in the nation. Known for its symmetrical design, two-story portico (porch), and exquisite interior decorative wood and plasterwork, the house was the only plantation house on the west bank of the Ashley River not to be burned during the Civil War. Still without running water, central heat, or electricity, Drayton Hall is now a National Trust historic site.

Old Blacksmith Shop, Fort Bennett, Pierre vicinity, South Dakota.

Northeast perspective. Photograph by John A. Bryan, July 1952. (Reproduction Number: HABS SD,1-PIER.V,1-1)

The old wagon wheel rims and wire resting against the wall of this run-down blacksmith shop were but a few of the items made or repaired for the United States Army garrison at Fort Bennett. The U.S. government established the fort on the outskirts of the Great Sioux Nation [Indian] Reservation in 1870 in order to provide protection to the personnel overseeing and implementing governmental policies following the Red Cloud War. Built in 1880, the sod-covered shop is Fort Bennett’s only surviving structure.

First Presbyterian Church (Downtown Presbyterian Church), Nashville, Tennessee.

Interior, detail of south wall. Photograph by Jack E. Boucher, August 1970. (Reproduction Number: HABS TENN,19-NASH,13-7)

The interior columns, moldings, and illusionistic fresco ornament shown here along the south wall of Nashville’s First Presbyterian Church are in the Egyptian Revival style, an exotic style of architecture that became popular in the first half of the nineteenth century following Napoleon’s conquests. The Egyptian Revival style is noted for its lotus-leaf-inspired capitals, bulging columns, and Egyptian gorges, the dramatically curved cornice topping many Egyptian buildings. Begun in 1849 by William Strickland, the architect of the Tennessee State Capitol, this is the largest and best-preserved Egyptian Revival church in the United States.

Minion Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, San Antonio, Texas.

Detail of [Sectional axonometric views. Measured drawing delineated by Roland Rodriguez, 1983.] (Reproduction Number: HABS TEX,15-SANT.V,1, sheet 2 of 12)

The church depicted in these axonometric views is one of the oldest surviving mission churches in the American Southwest. Built in the mid-eighteenth century by Franciscan monks from Spain, the church once served as the centerpiece of a large missionary compound. In its heyday, the mission included a convent, farmland, workshops, a granary, and a pueblo, or quarters, for christianized American Indians. In common with many Catholic churches built at the same time in Spain and Europe, this church features a vaulted stone roof, twin towers, and a dome over the crossing.