Christopher Werner: 19th Century German Immigrant and Charleston Artisan

The American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC will present a special weekend event honoring artisan Charles Werner, an expert blacksmith who created decorative railings, gates and fences, verandahs, stairways, and grilles around Charleston. On January 29 – 30th, a digital exhibit honoring Werner’s work will be unveiled, and other special events will take place. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in February 2015.

Christopher Werner was a noted artisan of wrought iron projects all over South Carolina who emigrated to Charleston from Germany in the 1830s. His gates and other creations are much celebrated. He is especially known for Charleston’s “Sword Gate” and for the Palmetto Monument on the state capitol grounds in Columbia.

The digital exhibit “Christopher Werner: 19th Century German Immigrant and Charleston Artisan” will be unveiled at a special weekend event including a free lecture and reception on Friday, January 29th at 6:30 p.m. at Buyer Auditorium at The Citadel. The lecture will feature keynote speaker Dr. Andrea Mehrlander, author of Germans in Charleston; Nic Butler, historian for the Charleston Archive at the Charleston County Public Library; and Amanda Noll, the Project Coordinator for the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative. Additional special ticketed events will take place on Saturday, January 30th, including iron demonstrations and a walking tour. More information about the Christopher Werner weekend is available on the American College of the Building Arts website here:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 23-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: “Charleston, Broad Street 013” by Henry de Saussure Copeland – Flickr: Charleston, Broad Street 013. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons –,_Broad_Street_013.jpg#/media/File:Charleston,_Broad_Street_013.jpg