ABE Board of Directors Meeting • 21c Museum Hotel February 5-7, 2024 • Louisville, Kentucky


Dear ABE Board Members and Guests,


Lynn and I look forward to welcoming you to Charleston in a few weeks. We do not believe that the ABE has ever had a board meeting in this city. Whether you have visited Charleston before or this is your first time there, we hope you will leave with some fond new experiences, be they culinary or educational.

Our accommodations will be at The Charleston Place. Charleston occupies an historic segment of the East Coast.  It is called the Holy City for its grand choir of churches. Accordingly, the city’s prodigious preservation policy demands that no building can be built taller than one of the beautiful church and cathedral steeples. That ensures that this nostalgic destination, which boasts one of the world’s largest historic districts after Rome, is seen and experienced as an invitingly mysterious warren of cobbled streets, colonial buildings, Doric columns and horse drawn carriages. Amid that old architectural milieu, with magnolias, jasmine and wisteria in season, our hotel for the meeting, The Charleston Place, celebrates the majesty and southern charm of this area.  Charleston is a city of good and traditional manners, Gullah influences, low country gastronomic culture and big personality.

Beemok Capital, led by Charleston businessman and philanthropist Benjamin Navarro, announced in October 2021, that the company had acquired the hotel. Beemok’s portfolio includes hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues throughout the Southeast and beyond.

In mid-2023, the hotel began a multi-million dollar renovation that will be completed in phases. The hotel will remain open during the multi-year transformation of the lobby, courtyards, guest rooms, suites, spa/wellness center, restaurants, bars, retail, meeting and event spaces and pool.

Due to the renovation, our Board meetings will be held in the Riviera Theater, at 227 King Street, and across the street from the hotel. Our hotel manages and operates this old theater, that now performs in many meeting and business ways.  The theater was built in the late 1930’s and was the first motion picture venue. You may want to bring a swimsuit, as the hotel pool boasts a saltwater pool offering pure relaxation, good fun, and glorious city views.

In March of 2022, the name officially transitioned from Charleston Place, a Belmond Hotel, to The Charleston Place to reflect its new position as a locally-owned and managed independent luxury hotel.

Our Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening will be held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the hotel’s bar area, The Thoroughbred Club, themed to honor the oldest thoroughbred club in the country. The hotel refers to this first floor feature of the hotel as the hotel’s own living room lounge, reminiscent of some of the finest clubs in the world.  You will be reminded of our meetings in Louisville – they have a lot of bourbon! After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner will be on your own. A list of restaurants is attached. We strongly recommend that you make your reservations at your earliest convenience, as many restaurants stay booked.

The spouse and guest events on Thursday, while the Board is working hard at the Riviera, will include a tour of the Nathaniel Russell House and a photography tour of the scenic area near it.  The Nathaniel Russell House is referred to as one of our country’s most important neoclassical houses. Construction began in 1803. After many years as a residence, a boarding school, back to a private residence, the Historic Charleston Foundation acquired and restored it, beginning in 1953. It is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Following a lunch for the guests and spouses at the Slightly North of Broad Restaurant (SNOB), they will receive a signature guided tour of the Heyward-Washington House.

The H-W House was the home of Thomas Heyward, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The house was built in 1772. The architecture is a Georgian-style double house. Heyward was a patriot leader and artillery officer during the Revolutionary War. The city of Charleston rented the house during a week-long visit by George Washington in May of 1791. It has been named a National Historic Landmark.

Dinner Thursday night will be at Cannon Green/Wild Common, a remarkable local restaurant owned by a recent James Beard semi-finalist Executive Chef Orlando Pagan.  We met him. He is exceptional. The restaurant is said to be known for “bold and inventive” cuisine.  We had dinner there and we agree.

Friday, the Board will return to the Riviera Theater to continue the important work for this meeting.  The spouses and guests will walk to Washington Park behind City Hall. (The address of City Hall is 80 Broad St.) to begin more historic and architectural adventures.

We shall all meet Friday afternoon for lectures at Charleston Library Reading Room. One of our speakers will be Elizabeth Gay, the Executive Director of the Huguenot Society.

Friday evening, we will be hosted by New York Life for a glorious dinner at our hotel’s Palmetto Garden Room and Courtyard.

Saturday morning, the Board will meet to conclude the business of our meeting in Charleston.

For those wishing to extend your enjoyment of this magnificent city, the ABE will host a dinner at one of Charleston’s hottest restaurants – High Cotton.  This restaurant is a part of the Hall Family of Charleston restaurants. They pride themselves on being true low country providers of fine dining. SNOB above is another one of their signature restaurants.

We think this will be a special meeting in a special city.  The weather will be warm, so bring the right clothes. Comfortable walking shoes are a strong recommendation. Most events are near the hotel, except for Cannon Green/Wild Common, for which we will be shuttled to and from by the van fleet of The Charleston Place.

If you have some spare time, you may wish to take one of the carriage ride tours of the city. It is a rare combination of entertainment and history.

With the exception of the New York Life Dinner Friday night, the attire will be coastal casual. Socks are optional. Guys, for the NYL dinner, please wear your favorite blazer and no ties.

We look forward to seeing you in the Holy City!


Safe travels.


Lynn & Howard