Cigar Factory

Historical Site


Rod Stang, AiA, LEED AP

Stevens & Wilkinson

General Contractor

Trident Construction

Window Design Consultation

Graham Architectural Products


Fill 361 window openings with new, thermally broken, aluminum historic replication windows that meet National Park Service requirements and regional building codes.



There is a lot of history in Charleston’s Cigar Factory. Built in 1881 as a cotton mill, the five-story, 244,000-square-foot structure became a factory for the American Tobacco Company in the early 1900s. It was the site of a strike in 1945 by 1,200 mostly black workers – a strike considered by many to have been the start of the civil rights movement in America.

In 2014, new owners initiated plans to convert the building into a mix of offices, restaurants, event space and retail. Tax credits for historic preservation depended on National Park Service approvals, a challenge made more difficult by large 10-foot tall window openings and a regional building code requiring hurricane resistant windows.

Charlotte Glass, working with window manufacturer Graham Architectural Products, the architect and the general contractor, cleared all the hurdles in a very short time frame. The project was completed in the summer of 2015.