We were walking through an industrial part of the port of Charleston when we came upon this wall. No indication of what it could be, so it wasn’t until I got home that I could look it up.
It is part of the Bennett Rice Mill, built in 1845 and, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority, one of the “finest examples of 19th century American industrial architecture.” It went through several owners — the rice industry died and it was sold to a peanut company; the peanut industry died and it was sold to the railroad — until it was sold to the South Carolina Ports Authority in 1958. The SCPA then made a deal with the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Preservation Society of Charleston: we’ll secure it and you take care of it.
The building was braced but Hurricane Donna came along in 1960 and blew down most of it anyway. All that stands now is the western façade, which the preservationists continue to monitor.