The Design Group Blog

Finding Surprises in Historic Charleston Buildings

2017 marks the year of the enhanced TDG office space. Our renovations are fully underway at this time, which has been quite a bit more involved than we initially anticipated. As I’m sure anyone who has done renovations previously has already realized, a lot of the ‘easy stuff’ turns out to be quite a bit more complex than initially anticipated.

Step I of Project: ‘Renovate TDG Studios’ (as it has been dubbed locally), involved ripping out the commercial ceiling tiles to expose piping, ducting, and more undesirables. As to be expected, we found quite a bit more than anticipated. For example, until eventually caving to get a completely separate A/C unit, we have always experienced issues with air flow in our tertiary office room. We definitely figured out the original problem at play when we ripped out the ceiling – the ducting was completely disconnected from the main system! That could make it a bit difficult for seamless air travel. Other treasures we discovered in our ceiling included an illuminated ‘Exit’ sign that pleasantly greeted us by smacking us in the face, and an air vent cover that was kept up there as a just-in-caser, I suppose.

Step II of the Project RTDGS involved tearing down a wall in between our main office area, and our new office addition. That was just plain ol’ fun.

Step III was a bit less fun. Back to commercial ceiling tear down – this time in the new office addition. In buildings over 100 years old, there are often stories in the ceilings and walls. We definitely found a story in our addition’s commercial ceiling. The story was in the shape of a skull! The skull was covered in dust and had what looked like a bullet hole through the middle of it. Our lead renovation officer, Brent Tabor, legit fell off of his ladder – add this to reasons we are thankful that we are located on the bottom floor.

As it turns out, we had not actually stumbled upon a sacred Indian burial ground, nor had we uncovered the solution to what had happened to Jimmy Hoffa (NOTE: This was who we were initially hoping to have found). Rather, this skull was actually left by the building’s maintenance man as a joke for us to stumble across. He had actually dipped the skull in glue, rolled it in the dirt, and shot it with a 22!!! We admired his dedication.

Group text message hilarity then ensued. Note to self: asking Siri for a solution provided another element of humorous insight. Stay tuned for more updates on our renovation progress. And if we find any more body parts, you will be the first to know, per Siri’s recommendation.