Featured Faculty
CofC Home Page The Students Special Thanks Feedback
Focus on the Faculty Flyer Focus on the Faculty News Release

Highlighting the Research and Expertise of College of Charleston Professors

Professor Patrick Harwood
Department of Communication


Adjunct Professor Robert Stockton

Stockton Robert Stockton

"Puncturing" Charleston's Myths with Pinpoint Research and Facts
By Caroline Caldwell

It may surprise you to know that the man who knows pretty much all about the history and architecture of Charleston is from "away."

Robert Stockton, who teaches Victorian Era Charleston and Charleston Architecture is a Southerner however, growing up in Biloxi, Miss.

After taking a class of his one would think that his family came over with the Lord Proprietors when Charleston first was settled. His love for Charleston and its architecture brought him here nearly 40 years ago.

"Puncturing the balloons of the Charleston myths," is part of Stockton's research mission, he says.

One of the myths that many say about Charleston is that there are not any Victorian era homes here. But Stockton says that there are plenty of Victorian homes.

Stockton attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he majored in journalism and history. He then came to the University of South Carolina where he earned a master's degree in applied (architectural) history. At Boston University he pursued a Ph.D. in American Studies/Architectural History. There he says he completed everything but the dissertation.

Caroline Kinnett, a student in Stockton's Victorian Era course says, "It amazes me how one man can know so much about this city; it has to be a true passion."

Professor Stockton adds so much to the city. He has been on the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for the past three years. He takes his work with this influential board very seriously because he thinks it is one of the most important boards in the city. He says in three years he has missed only one meeting.

Along with his teaching and community service, Stockton is also an architectural and historical research consultant. He does projects for architectural firms, attorneys, institutional clients, private clients, government firms, and real estate firms.

Outside of work Stockton says he enjoys well-written novels and English mystery books. He is currently reading "The Mandarins," about Parisian intellectuals after World War II.

Stockton says he loves traveling, especially to Italy. His favorite architectural style is the Italianate style. He loves the "free flowing floor plan, and the rich architectural detail."

He says his dream is to a reach a point where he doesn't have to do anything that he doesn't want to, and instead do things like researching, writing, and publishing books.

Stockton has already authored a couple of books including "The Great Shock" which is about the 1886 earthquake in Charleston. He also wrote "The History of the Carolina Yacht Club." He has written articles for magazines, the web, and he has had a column in The News and Courier called "Do You Know Your Charleston" which won for him an award from the S.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

But Stockton says the greatest thing that happened to him was the birth of his son. His son graduated from the College of Charleston with a history degree and is also a history buff. He said that they also both enjoy maps.

The Jenkins Mikell House is one of his favorite houses in Charleston. He corrected a newspaper report which said that the house was a Greek Revival design, when it is actually an Italian Villa design, he says.

Stockton could probably tell you the style of any house in Charleston. If it is an historic house, you would most likely learn about it in his Charleston Architecture class.

Enlightening young people about the special city and region where they attend college gives Stockton a unique satisfaction, that any historian would appreciate.

Former student Nadine Savage says: "I'm from Tennessee and knew nothing about Charleston. After taking his architecture class, I bet I know more about Charleston's architecture than people who are from here."

Certainly comments like that make Professor Stockton smile.