Architecture & Design // 1 min Read

Architectural Vernacular in the Lowcountry

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Jun 07, 2019

What does the word vernacular mean to you? That’s the question that Daves Rossell, an architectural history professor at Savannah College of Art and Design, asked as he opened his lecture. Among the answers given were: traditional, indigenous, of a specific time and a specific location, and local. Rossell confirmed that these were all correct, but the question that he set out to answer was: how do you apply the word vernacular to architecture in the Lowcountry? It begins with looking at vernacular qualities and analyzing why they have remained unchanged throughout history.

Vernacular qualities can be defined as common features that don’t catch our attention from a distance and are often overlooked due to their frequent usage. Think about that medallion around your chandelier mounting, or your neighbor’s raised house, or your parents’ cherished wraparound porch. All of these are common features of Lowcountry homes that are rare finds in the north. If you take a stroll around Charleston, you might notice that many of the homes have side porches that operate as both a place to “porch” as well as their entryway. Conversely, Savannah homes also have side porches, however they are used solely as a porch, with their front door located on the street-facing side of the home. These differences are derived from the cultures that have migrated over time. (Not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here…?) Savannah-style homes are also well-known for displaying Caribbean influences and are easy to spot if you know what to look for.

There is no debate about the tradition that lives within the Lowcountry, but it goes well beyond the biscuits and fried chicken. Next time you’re in Savannah, spend some time in the neighborhoods on the border of the city like Frogtown, Currytown, and Waynesville. These areas specialize in Lowcountry architectural vernaculars and will grow your appreciation of this wonderful place we get to call home.

Culture / Palmetto Bluff Growing Outdoors

Photographs by Summer Pagatpatan Palmetto Bluff is a wilderness playground for families, a gateway to the outdoors, to living life close to nature. Palmetto Bluff Growing Outdoors, or PBGO, encompasses the ethos of this extraordinary place. CampGO is PBGO’...

Apr 2024

Sporting Life / A Comparison of the May River & Crossroads Golf Courses

Discover the May River and Crossroads Golf Courses at Palmetto Bluff Positioned within the enchanting Lowcountry landscape, Palmetto Bluff boasts an array of world-class amenities, with its golf courses standing as a testament to the community's commitment to...

Apr 2024
palmetto bluff

Culture / Behind the Bluff with Fitness and Wellness Director: Jeff Ford

Jeff’s Journey to the Palmetto Bluff Fitness and Wellness Team Palmetto Bluff is located amidst the serene landscapes of the Lowcountry, a tranquil haven where wellness intertwines seamlessly with nature's splendor. Jeff Ford, the Palmetto Bluff Club's Direct...

Apr 2024

Real Estate / Make the Move to the Lowcountry

5 Benefits of Living in South Carolina Known for its charming small towns, pristine coastline, and natural beauty, the South Carolina Lowcountry is one of the most popular places to live. The Lowcountry is a unique and desirable place to live, offering an arr...

Apr 2024

Sporting Life / Crossroads | A Shotmaker’s Playground

Photographs by Patrick O’Brien Words by Rob Collins Designer Rob Collins of King-Collins offers a first look at Crossroads, Palmetto Bluff’s new nine-hole reversible golf course. It is a feat of design. One routing, The Hammer, is a whirlwind of angles and u...

Apr 2024

Architecture & Design / Resurrecting Stones

Story by Katie Epps Photographs by Joel Caldwell Beneath Palmetto Bluff’s sprawling oaks lie twelve cemeteries that serve as the final resting places for hundreds of people and nine dogs. Five of these cemeteries were started as burial grounds for enslaved...

Mar 2024

Real Estate / Discover The Grove: A Premier Enclave for Nature-Inspired Living

Putting Down Strong Roots The Grove seamlessly combines curated style with courtyard living, welcoming the lush beauty of the Lowcountry at every doorstep. With twelve homesites meticulously designed to maximize outdoor living, Palmetto Bluff Builders offer...

Mar 2024

Culture / Meet Palmetto Bluff Club Members Shayne and Jason Hollander

How did you meet? Shayne: Jason and I both attended the University of Southern California. We met through our mutual friend Mike, a USC connection. I was always very captivated by Jason, his wit and charm.  Jason: Shayne’s first job in college was working ...

Mar 2024
palmetto bluff activities

Sporting Life / Sticking to Your New Year Resolutions: How to Stay Active at The Bluff

Create Lasting Habits With These 6 Palmetto Bluff Activities As the new year sets in, many of us find ourselves determined to stick to those resolutions we set just a few weeks ago. Whether it's getting fit, staying active, or embracing a healthier lifestyle,...

Mar 2024
palmetto bluff homes

Real Estate / Real Estate Spotlight: 29 Wintercress Rd, 213 Davies Rd, and 18 Flicker St

Discover These Three Luxury Palmetto Bluff Homes Palmetto Bluff is a private community nestled in South Carolina's Lowcountry. All properties at The Bluff blend the comfort of coastal living with the luxury of a modern Lowcountry estate. Built to be family...

Mar 2024
LIVE
Community Villages
Experience
Palmetto Bluff Club
On The Water
The Arts Initiative
Events
Conserve
About Us