Restoration projects bring the past to life, reanimating history for the aesthetic, educational, and functional benefit of residents and visitors alike. The Lowcountry is dotted with beautiful structures representing our textured cultural heritage. We apply skill, care, and innovation to ensure that these testaments to our region’s rich architectural story can be told today and long into the future.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the seat of the Bishop of Charleston and the mother church for Catholic parishioners in South Carolina. Construction on the striking brownstone Gothic church began in 1890 to replace an earlier structure, which was destroyed in the Great Charleston Fire of 1861. In keeping with the Gothic architectural tradition, the plans for the Cathedral called for a steeple – but the parish did not have sufficient funds to build it at the time.

Fast forward to the 21st century. The Diocese of Charleston retained Hightower Construction to conduct a major renovation of the city’s iconic cathedral. Hightower completely restored the exterior of the 27,000-square-foot building, which involved the meticulous examination of every stone, the skillful replacement of 2,500 pieces of stone, repointing 27 miles of joints, and the construction and placement of a bell tower and – after more than a century of waiting – a steeple. The Hightower team designed the steeple using an innovative combination of cold molding, epoxies, and frames, enabling the steeple to reach 85 feet – even higher than the Diocese’s expectations.

Today, the Cathedral stands tall at the corner of Broad and Legare Streets, with the structural integrity and full splendor intended by its designers more than 125 years ago.




select Historic RestoratioN PROJECTS


Charleston City Market

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Historic Charleston County Courthouse

Blake Tenement House

Jackson Davenport

Avery Institute