Just a few weeks after celebrating his 97th birthday, Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons died in his sleep Monday night at Bishop Gadsden retirement community.
Born in 1912, Simmons developed an interest in ironwork at a young age. Over the years he gained a reputation as a poet in ironwork, creating hundred of pieces — gates, balconies, fences, etc. — that now give the city of Charleston so much of its character. The Philip Simmons Foundation has a useful map to help you find the work he’s created.
In 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him its National Heritage Fellowship. In 1994, he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. His pieces are housed in museums across the country.