Hudson-Rider grew up in Charleston, but hadn't lived downtown before they purchased their Arlington Court home. "I like to walk and be in the mix of things," she said. She owns Tgraphics, on the West Side, and often walks to work as well as to restaurants and concerts nearby.
Their minimalist decorating style contrasts with that of Amy McLaughlin. Her husband, Shawn Means, lives there, but credits her entirely with the décor. As the director of Habitat for Humanity ReStore, McLaughlin's passion for recycled and repurposed materials and local art shows in their home.
Victorian heating grates salvaged from old homes hang as art on the walls, a Barbie dollhouse serves as a record album holder and a healthy houseplant grows in old slow cooker.
Their condominium also has a powder room in what used to be a back porch and a kitchen in which a counter and open glass cabinetry divide it from the adjoining room, which they use as a living room.
An original built-in hutch remains in the hall between the kitchen and hall. McLaughlin displays her collection of vintage lunchboxes in it.
The décor may be McLaughlin's, but the character of Arlington Court is what captures Means' interest and passion. He created a Facebook page, Arlington Court Community, on which he posts historic accounts and current photos and events.
He hears from former residents who visit the page and comment about how much they miss living there. Some send photographs, which appear on the timeline. Means wishes he could find more historic photos of the court. The earliest photos he's found are from the 1940s.
Although the condominiums do not frequently change hands, one soon will be available through auction. Means will post details on the Facebook page.
Means credits a memory for part of the attachment he feels for Arlington Court. Like most people who are old enough to know where they were when President John F. Kennedy died, Means remembers that he was visiting his aunt and uncle in Arlington Court.
"I had that connection. Also, I like history and architecture and the court's 100th anniversary made this a unique time," he said of his reasons to research and to document Arlington Court. "There's nowhere else like it in Charleston that has survived."
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.