Alston House, Stair Detail
Artist DetailsName: Gaston Ward Callum, II
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: 2000
Period: 21st Century
Medium: gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions: 10 5/8 x 10 1/2 inches (image)14 x 11 inches (support)
Credit: Gift of the artist
Gaston Ward Callum, II, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, documents dormant, vernacular architecture in states throughout the Southeast.
Constructed for Colonel William Alston in 1824, this elegant South Carolina plantation residence was presented as a wedding present to Alston’s daughter Mary, following her marriage to planter and statesman Burrel Cook. The couple was known to entertain lavishly at their home, as Mary was an active social leader and Burrel was prominint in local and state politics. Among the building’s most distinguishing features is its expertly fashioned double-portico entryway. Other fine detailing includes Federal mantels with carved sunbursts, crown moldings, and a well-executed open-string staircase located in the center hallway. The rear rooms of the house are served by an enclosed staircase, which was purportedly used by the woman on social occasions to prevent men from peeking at their ankles. These days, the isolated old mansion serves as a hunting lodge for its owners.