Unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Bridges

For Sparky and myself, curiosity drives passion which in turn fuels our life's engine. Our passion was capturing the story of both unbuilding the Grace (1929 - 2007) and Pearman (1966 - 2007) Bridges and discovering the unbuilders. It takes a lot of passion to track a project from July 2005 until April 2007 - rain, shine, hurricanes or moving to Singapore. We discovered the joy of discovery learning. Ken Canty opened the front door for us - then Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley and Mickey Rogers opened many side doors. Below are the highlights of what we discovered, who we met and what we learned.

And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

February 10, 2007: A walk with Sparky, Liza and Lauren

Sparky's daughter Liza is in town, along with her friend, Lauren. What better way to enjoy a day than walk the Ravenel and remember what used to be there and enjoy what is now there.

Here is Liza starting at East Bay

And the lone Piearman pier with the soon-to-disappear Grace pier in the background

Look at what is behind Lauren and Liza - looking toward Meeting St. GREEN space - no spagetti jungle of Grace and Pearman ramps

Walking along the bicycle - jogging lane looking at a desolate Drum island

And the Port - with a lone Grace Pier, soon to disappear (the pier, that is, not the port)

Another view of the port and pier

Look at the new Charleston skyline

and what Michael and his 1250 have done

Passing memory lane. It was two years ago when Oliver Forget and his Freyssinet team were pulling the last strands of a stay cable

Looking west. For a comparison

From April 23, 2005: looking west


and looking east


and a month later, looking east, May 20, 2005


Sparky art photos - a Ravenel Tower - many memories from viewing the construction with David Wurtz and the Freyssinet guys

Looking back on a Ravenel Tower

The transition from the west to east stay cables

Look at the stay anchor chair

And Mickey's next job

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C. Frank Starmer