Tabby Architecture

of the Sea Island [FS2]

Sunday, September 30, 8:00–5:00

Fees: APT Conference registrants–$175  PTN IPTW registrants–$225   Includes: breakfast, lunch, transportation, materials  
Capacity: 45
Transportation: Tour bus, departing from Francis Marion Hotel
Dress Code: Casual with sturdy walking shoes
Handicapped Accessibility: Limited
Continuing Education: Yes 

Field Session:
Located one hour south of Charleston, scenic and rural Beaufort County has perhaps the highest concentration of buildings constructed of tabby, a mixture of oyster shells, sand, lime and water, anywhere in the United States. You will visit rural and town sites around Beaufort, founded in 1711 and a National Historic Landmark, as well as rural sites along the Combahee River and on St. Helena Island, to examine how these buildings and ruins have been maintained, and consider challenges to their future preservation.


  • Evan R. Thompson, Executive Director, Preservation Society of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA. Mr. Thompson is former executive director of Historic Beaufort Foundation.
  • Colin Brooker, Architect and Historian, Charleston, SC, USA. Mr. Brooker has actively managed tabby preservation projects including the Historic American Buildings Survey of Beaufort County’s tabby sites.  He is authoring a book on tabby that will be published by the University of South Carolina press.

 Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the history and evolution of tabby from its origins in northern Africa to its application in the South Carolina Lowcountry from c. 1700 to modern day.
  • Describe the use of tabby in its original context, from rural to urban settings.
  • List the challenges and various strategies for the preservation of tabby, from inhabited tabby structures to stabilized ruins.
  • Discuss various formulas for making tabby and the selective reconstruction of ruined elements.
APT-PTN 2012 is sponsored by: