This store is the museum gift shop of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Founded in 1947, the HCF is a leading historical preservation and educational organization in the historic district. There is a small display area in the front entrance of the store, highlighting the preservation efforts of the foundation. There are some nice architectural elements and books for sale in the shop. Proceeds from sales help to support the foundation's preservation efforts. There is no sales tax on purchases at the store because the HCF is a non-profit organization.
We try to visit the Historic Charleston store at least once during a trip, since proceeds assist in preservation efforts.
The store layout is much nicer after the previous renovations. Once again, this makes an easy way to contribute to local preservation efforts. I make it a point to always pick up a copy of the following years Charleston calendar. I had already purchased the 2010 earlier in 2009, so I bought one for my mother!
The store was undergoing renovation the last time we were in town and is much nicer and has expanded. I decided to pick up a few different items during our visit. I purchased The Buildings of Charleston. It gives some very nice, compact descriptions for a large number of structures arranged by street and address. I also obtained the 2009 Charleston calendar. It is produced each year and contains 12 very nice photographs.
I like to visit this store, specifically because it supports the Historic Charleston Foundation. There is a nice selection of Charleston books at the rear of the store, along with teas, candies, and collectibles. As Steven points out, there is a collection of architecture pieces on display at the front of the store.
I really enjoyed the displays of architectural elements in the front of the store. These include moldings and woodwork salvaged as part of many preservation projects. If I were wealthy, I would love to fill my home with some of the beautiful reproductions of Charleston architectural elements for sale here.