The Dog Gates of Beaufort, South Carolina

These dog gates got my attention after I had spent a few months biking to work and errands. They look so good against the red bricks and dilapidation, and they feel like the legacy of a successful salesman who wore a tie and a hat in August. The mirror image placement of the dog finials brings just the right amount of formality and ritual to the gateways— get ready to shake hands and listen to how somebody's been doing. I haven't ever heard anyone talk about the dog finials as an architectural element-- as other, less mass-produced items here are--but I think that enough property owners appreciate them (as private property, very important.) The finials are firmly bolted into place, in fact many bolts have melded with the fence crosspieces. There's a lot changing about this area, which used to be isolated by various econo-geographical factors, but the dogs gates are not part of that change.

Lisa Annelouise Rentz