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Charleston Business

Drayton Hall Opens New Facilities

Jun 01, 2018 03:24PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Drayton Hall Preservation Trust (DHPT), the privately-funded nonprofit responsible for the operation, administration, and interpretation of Drayton Hall, a National Trust historic site, recently opened its new orientation hall, education center, and corresponding facilities for visitation on May 1, 2018. The project was undertaken to enrich the visitor experience and enable the organization, for the first time, to display its collection of historic artifacts. 

“This transformation marks a new era for the site and a priceless gift to future generations,” said Drayton Hall Preservation Trust President and CEO Carter Hudgins. “Drayton Hall is an authority unlike any other. It lives on as an active archeological site and its power to educate, enlighten, and inspire are undeniable. Our new facilities amplify its voice and broaden its impact.”

Key features of the project include:

  • The Sally Reahard Visitor Center, with its welcome area, museum shop, and orientation hall, which includes gallery space where Drayton Hall’s internationally significant furniture, artwork, manuscripts and archaeological finds are on exhibit for the first time, illuminating daily life at the estate;
  • The Interpretive Gardens. which include historically accurate botanical plantings evoking the Drayton family’s scientific pursuits and international connections during the 18th and 19th centuries;
  • Expanded parking, convenient restroom facilities, improved wayfinding, accessibility, and more.

Following a November 2016 groundbreaking, work continued for 16 months, culminating in an on-time completion of all planned structures and improvements. The project was funded by the “Drayton Hall Reimagined” campaign, an outpouring of support from donors around the world resulting in more than $5 million in project capital to date.