Mendel Rivers Federal Building, Charleston, SC

A positive adaptive reuse story, the Mendel Rivers Federal Building, is now the Dewberry Hotel. Commissioned in 1963, it was completed in 1965 to designs of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolff–a Columbia based firm who completed numerous government, university and residential buildings across the state. After storm damage in 1999, the Federal government left the building and it remained empty for many years. There was much subsequent debate about saving or demolishing the building.

Enter developer John Dewberry, who repurposed the building into a mid-century modern hotel, which is quite an anomaly for Charleston. The interior includes wood paneling and marble flooring (see blurry picture below), whereas the rooms have more of a contemporary feel. Overall, a great use for a significant modern building.

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