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Huntington Banks (One Commerce Square)
The National Bank of Commerce, now Huntington Banks, was one of Charleston's many financial institutions that decided to build anew during the 1960s. This seventeen-story high rise, on the site of the former Capitol Annex (1903, Harrison Albright), incorporates rental offices above the banking facilities. Marbleveneered piers form the corners of the Lee Street facade, and metal fins separate five windows on either side of a central mass of almost unadorned solid granite. The effect is that of a typical International Style skyscraper.
A convoluted 12-by-10-foot bronze sculpture by Milton Horn is affixed to the granite exterior just above eye level. A discreet label identifies its theme, which might not otherwise be obvious: “Man Wrests from the Earth Its Natural Resources to Build Pathways to the Stars.” Almost hidden in a recessed corner bay near the sculpture, a panel identifies the names of the building's architects in small etched and gilded letters, a rare instance of a signed work of architecture.
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