Party Like a Southerner: The Cocktail Tower

A windowed lookout with panoramic coastal views lives up to its name

Photo: Julia Lynn

The Cocktail Tower
Seabrook, South Carolina

Evening gin and tonics at Frank and Gay Fowler’s historic estate, Dean Hall, come with 360-degree views. “It’s based on a little bit of fantasy and a little bit of fact,” Frank says of the newly completed structure the couple calls the Lantern. “In the antebellum era, navigation at night was difficult along the intracoastal back rivers of this area, so people used lanterns in trees as a point of reference. I liked that.” When he saw a photograph of a lighthouse- like building that mimicked the idea, Frank commissioned Jim Strickland, of the Georgia architecture firm Historical Concepts, to bring the vision to life. The resulting two-story Jeffersonian building references the architectural pedigree of the Fowlers’ nineteenth-century house, which they have worked to restore over the last two decades. “Nothing feels new about the structure because very little is new,” Frank says, adding that Strickland used salvaged cypress and pine, as well as antique hardware, throughout. But the real draw is the light at the end of the day. “It is a marvelous place to have a drink and watch the sun set,” he says, “especially after a storm.”—View more photos