These great plantations are symbols of the South and days gone by. Today perhaps only a hundred along the coast and another hundred inland remain. Many of the great plantation homes were lost during the time of war, and many more were simply allowed to collapse in the aftermath. This collection of photographs represents some of the most stunning work present in the Historic American Buildings Survey, an effort to catalogue and document the architecture and building culture of America. In the South, especially, these photographs became invaluable records of a way of life that was quickly disappearing. The selections here, presented by William P. Baldwin, capture these lost dwellings—sometimes as a fragment, sometimes a whole building—and showcase the grand tradition and romantic detail of these icons of the South.
William Baldwin is a lifelong resident of the South Carolina Lowcountry. He has authored and co-authored numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden, The Fennel Family Papers, Heaven is a Beautiful Place, Inland Passages, and Mantelpieces of the Old South.