Architectural historian to speak at Genealogical Society meeting

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 2/15/18

Architectural historian Andy Chandler will be the guest speaker Monday for the monthly meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society. Now retired as Senior Architectural Historian and National Register Coordinator with the S.C. Department of …

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Architectural historian to speak at Genealogical Society meeting

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Architectural historian Andy Chandler will be the guest speaker Monday for the monthly meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society. Now retired as Senior Architectural Historian and National Register Coordinator with the S.C. Department of Archives and History, Chandler will speak on Anglican/Episcopal parish church and Dissenter meeting house architecture of the Lowcountry in the colonial period. The 7:30 p.m. presentation at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St., will also include a brief discussion of Chandler's work while at the department.

Titled "South Carolina's Lowcountry Colonial Parish Churches and Dissenter Meeting Houses," Chandler's talk will be a PowerPoint presentation with images illustrating the Lowcountry church architecture. Area examples included in his talk include St. Mark's parish church near Pinewood and the Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg; among the Dissenter meeting houses Chandler will discuss are the Salem Black River Presbyterian Meeting House near Mayesville and the High Hills Baptist Meeting House in the Stateburg area.

The parish churches and Dissenter meeting houses existed concurrently and possessed similarities and differences in their architecture, a fact that Chandler will discuss and illustrate in his presentation. He notes that "While both Anglicans and Dissenters viewed their respective churches and meeting houses as places set apart for the worship of God, Dissenters focused more on the congregants as the church rather than the physical building."

Chandler is a Kingstree native who grew up near Greeleyville. He received his Bachelor of Arts in history from the College of Charleston and his Master of Arts in Applied (or Public) History from the University of South Carolina; his major field of study was historic preservation and architectural history.

Currently, he is cataloguing the J. Carroll Johnson Collection at the South Caroliniana Library at USC. Chandler's master's thesis was titled "Dialogue with the Past: J. Carroll Johnson, Architect, and the University of South Carolina, 1912-1956." He has published articles on Johnson and other architects and plans a book on Johnson.

A contributor to "The South Carolina Encyclopedia" edited by Walter Edgar, Chandler operates the consulting business CWA Preservation Services and serves on the Board of Directors as Preservation Officer for the Southeast Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians.

The public is invited to Andy Chandler's presentation titled "South Carolina's Lowcountry Colonial Parish Churches and Dissenter Meeting Houses" at the 7:30 p.m. Monday meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.

The society meets monthly from September through May. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend. Interested persons can join the society at the meeting. Membership includes nine monthly newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for family. For more information, call (803) 774-3901.