Philip Simmons

A few weeks back, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, we made our way downtown to explore. We didn’t have any real plans, but I had seen on the Philip Simmons Foundation website that they had both a museum and a Saturday afternoon demonstration; I had decided that if it worked out, we would try and stop by.

I’ve been fascinated with the life and work of Philip Simmons since I first saw his portrait by Molly B. Right, bottle camp portrait artist, in the Ashley River Tower at the Medical University of South Carolina (portrait below).


I learned quickly that Mr. Simmons was the most celebrated of Charleston ironworkers of the 20th Century.  I love how Stephanie Hunt, of the Charleston Magazine, describes Mr. Simmons in her article from June 2009, the month he passed away: “You’d be hard-pressed to find a Charlestonian more beloved than Simmons. He’s the darling of preservationists, the epitome of artistry, the king of craftsmanship, and the hallmark of humility. And besides all that, he’s just plain endearing.”

If you have ever visited Charleston, you know that beautiful ironwork adorns the streets welcoming locals and visitors like arms opened wide.  Considering the type of man that Mr. Simmons was, it would be easy to say he is partially responsible for all of this hospitality!

Since  it was a beautiful morning and we had some time before the ironworking demonstration, we  decided to first take a stroll around the Peninsula to see what we could find on our own of Mr. Simmon’s “hearts, gates, and grates.” The Foundation even provided a map with a sampling of his work.  Of course, if you are interested in something more official, there are a handful of walking tours you can sign up for.

Here is the Heartgate, which is at the entrance to Philip Simmons Garden at 91 Anson Street (please note that I am borrowing this picture from the Philip Simmons Foundation Website).


After searching out a handful of his pieces, I was beyond excited about seeing his home, which is now a museum, and watching the demonstration.

I can’t wait to share with you about our experience at Mr. Simmons’ home and shop, but I will save that for next week since this blog has already gotten long. But, in the meantime, be sure to check out these resources to learn more about Mr. Simmons and his work; I think you find his legacy as endearing as those who knew him personally.

Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc
Charleston Magazine’s Tribute
Sunhead Projects’ Tribute Video


Before and After: Johnson Road

You will quickly understand why we selected our Johnson Road project for this week’s #transformationtuesday post.

This existing home in the Crescent neighborhood of West Ashley had room sizes typical of 1950’s houses. Our focus was to create larger rooms while utilizing as much of the existing home as possible. Additions to the side and rear of the home provided some of this space, while other rooms were expanded within the existing home or saw their use change (i.e. the living room became the dining room). Increased ceiling height in many of the new spaces is a noted improvement along with opening up the existing front entry to be a two story space.

Take a look at the Johnson Road transformation through this short (1:56) Before and After: Johnson Road video and be sure to check out the pictures at the Johnson Road Portfolio section of our website.

johnson road

Johnson Road: Before and After Video


At TMD Architects, we have a passion for both architecture and people. We hope that you will consider us for your architecture project in the Charleston, South Carolina area.

Proud 2014 Walk for Water Sponsors

TMD Architects is proud to once again sponsor Water Missions International’s Walk for Water!

Every day millions of people have to walk miles and miles just for water. Most of the time, the water can find is not only dirty, but also contaminated. We are excited to walk beside Water Missions International in changing lives, one community at a time, through sustainable safe water solutions!

Each dollar raised through the Walk is going to make a huge impact through a safe water community development project! We hope that you will consider making a donation to support this worth cause and would love, too, for you to join our team.

The Walk is about 3.5 miles – the average distance that women and children, all over the world, walk for water on a daily basis – and typically last 1-1.5 hours. It isn’t a race, you can walk at your own pace! The day is family-friendly, stroller-friendly, even dog-friendly… feel free to bring the family!

Here are a few more details:

Walk for Water
Saturday, March 22, 2014
9:00 am
Cannon Park (corner of Rutledge and Calhoun), Charleston, SC

You can register for our team or make a donation through our team page:

This has become one of our favorite days and we hope that you will be able to join us!

Trevor and Megan