Church Withstood Civil War Bombing But Not Renovation of Movie House Across Street

     CHARLESTON, S.C. (CN) – An historic church that withstood the Union bombardment of Charleston during the Civil War suffered more than $1 million in damage during renovations of theater across the street, the French Huguenot Church claims in Charleston County Court.

     The French Huguenot Church of Charleston, built in 1845 and a National Historic Landmark, allegedly was damaged when a contractor used a track hoe to demolish sidewalk less than 8 feet from the church’s Gothic Revival façade.
     Vibration damaged the church’s façade, made a big new crack in the plaster inside the building, and damaged more than 6,000 square feet of exterior stucco and the brick and mortar underneath, according to the complaint.
     The city has been renovating the 200-year-old Dock Street Theater since 2007. Early in the project it was decided an electric transformer inside the theater belonging to SCE&G, the local public utility, should be moved outside.
     When burying the transformer under the street proved unworkable, the city issued a permit to the Anson Construction Co. to bury it under the sidewalk next to the church.
     In light of the damage, SCE&G abandoned the relocation of the transformer, leaving it inside the theater.
     The Huguenot Church demands more than $1 million in damages. It is represented by Allen Gibson Jr. with Buist Moore Smythe McGee.

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