Here is a film of Charleston, S.C., taken three years after the city passed its landmark preservation law, first of its kind in the world. Its streets today are much more as they were then than in the recently posted film of Chicago in the 1940s (not in 1940 as I’d falsely stated). Both films feature quaintnesses of the era that are, to say the least, cringeworthy today. Threads of comment about the Chicago film have enlivened my inbox in recent days. For the Charleston film I feel obliged to insert a warning of the sort common these days in American university curricula to alert the more palpitatious of hearts to upcoming potential offenses to delicacy. Early on, the film pictures a musical troupe of – if history’s hardnesses and calumnies render you faint, do not read the next word! – “nigras” singing in a Charleston garden. The next sentence will surprise you! (I refer to the next sentence in the film, not the next sentence in this post, which is innocuous.) I doff my topper and genuflect slightly from my waist to Charleston architect Christopher Liberatos, who posted the film to TradArch.