Silver Puts Hollywood Dollars To Good Use

by | Nov 4, 2007

Yemassee—Hundreds of sightseers got an eyeful on this crisp November weekend, as history and architecture buffs from as far away as Virginia and Florida made their way to the rural northwest corner of Beaufort County. The reason for their journey? Auldbrass, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterworks and his only project in the Lowcountry.

see my entire Auldbrass Flickr set

Wright started work on Auldbrass in 1939 and continued to improve the project until his death in 1959. The plantation–as all such properties are known in these parts–was commissioned by an industrial engineer from Michigan, C. Leigh Stevens. After Stevens’ passing, his daughter lived on and maintained the property for 20 years, before selling it to a group who used it as a hunting lodge.

Modern day Auldbrass began in 1986 when Joel Silver, the famous (and rich) Hollywood producer came on the scene. Silver hired Eric Lloyd Wright, the legend’s grandson, to help restore the place to its original magnificence. The pair had previously joinded forces to restore Wright’s “Storer House” in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Silver’s generosity, the public is invited to see the property once every two years. The showing is coordinated by Beaufort County Open Land Trust.