Mepkin Abbey

Mepkin Abbey Picnic & Tour (April 28, 2013)

The Mepkin Abbey is on the Cooper River about one hour north of Charleston. Although this monastery was established in 1949, the monks live according to the tradition of monastic life established by St. Benedict in the 5th century. The buildings may be 20th century, but their design facilitates a life dedicated to prayer, study, hospitality, and work, just as their antecedents.

The abbey church (dedicated in 1993) is a beautifully austere building designed by architect Ted Butler and Brother Frank Kacmarcik. It received the 1995 AIA award for Religious Architecture.

The monastery has a 3,200 acre garden botanical garden designed by landscape architect Loutrel Winslow Briggs (1893-1977), who advocated for the use of native plants. A 15 acre columbarium was added in 2008 designed by Verdant Enterprises, a landscape architecture firm that appropriately specializes in sustainable environmental design with native plants.

Nancy Bryan Luce Gardens at Mepkin Abbey

Nancy Bryan Luce Gardens at Mepkin Abbey

The AAH Club will join Prof. Garton’s class on a picnic and tour of Mepkin Abbey. If you are interested in joining us, email Dr. Goudy (or comment below).

Sunday, April 28, 2013
Bring your own picnic lunch
Meet at 1:00 p.m. at the monastery
1090 Mepkin Abbey Road Monck’s Corner, South Carolina
(about 1 hour drive from the College of Charleston).

Further Reading:
Mepkin Abbey Website
“Loutrel Winslow Briggs,” The Cultural Landscape Foundation [website], 2012.
Michael E. Komechak, O.S.B., “A Survey of Monastic Architecture with Five Challenges for Building and Renovating Churches in the Twenty-first Century”
Obituary: Theodore R. (Ted) Butler, 70, architect

Classroom Connection
ARTH 105 Introduction to Architecture (Goudy)
ARTH 355 History of Early Medieval and Romanesque Art (Garton)

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