Good News Roundup: Craftsmen and Camellias

More accolades for Charlestonians



  • virginia.mcmillan / Creative Commons

If you've spent your whole life in Charleston, sometimes you forget what a privilege it is to live here. But several times a year, when Charleston wins yet another award, we get a reminder of just how jealous people in North Dakota are of our lifestyle. We are, after all, the third-best city in the world, the top vacation spot in the U.S., the friendliest city in America, and the home of Bill Jaguar-Shark-Killin' Murray.

It's time to put a couple more feathers in our civic-pride hat:

• Magnolia Gardens was recently recognized as a Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society during its biennial meeting in Chuxiong, China. Magnolia is the first garden in South Carolina, the fifth in the United States, and the 18th in the world to receive the award since it was first given in 2001. The camellia is an evergreen tree that blooms in winter and spring with fragrant flowers that can be white, pink, red, or yellow. Magnolia Gardens has 25,000 camellias, making it one of the largest collections in the world.

• The American College of Building Arts will get a big nod from Southern Living in the March issue, due to hit newsstands Feb. 24. It will be included in the magazine's Heroes of the New South feature, which was compiled by a jury based on criteria of innovation, impact on the community, scope of reach, advancement, and contribution to Southern culture. The school, which was founded in 2004 and has its main campus in the Old Charleston Jail, offers four-year degrees in the traditional arts of stone carving, plaster work, timber framing, carpentry, masonry, and forged iron work. Jim Strickland, one of the jurors who helped pick the school as an award-winner, had this to say: "In a time when we are returning to the values of craftsmanship, this college is leading the way. Their graduates are continuing crafts that we once feared would be lost." Read more here.

Students and alumni hosted a festival last March to showcase their work, and it was pretty fascinating to watch. Check it out here:

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