Work planned at historic Charles Pinckney house

A fire-suppresion system will be installed at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.

MOUNT PLEASANT -- The historic Charles Pinckney house takes a step toward a high-tech transformation next week when contractors begin installation of a fire-suppression system.

Because of the work, the visitor center will be closed Monday-Friday. The grounds and comfort station will remain open.

The work on the 1828 house will continue through March.

"Closing the house for a few days will enable the most disruptive work to be accomplished more efficiently," said Rick Dorrance, chief of resource management for the Fort Sumter National Monument and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. "Contracted work will continue after the house reopens, but with minimal impact on the visitor's experience."

The construction will not affect the weekend series of Gullah programs scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in February and March.

The work has been several years in the making.

It began with the installation of a system to supply water for a sprinkler system inside the house that triggers in the event of a fire. It also includes a fire-alarm system that automatically alerts the local fire department.

The National Park Service acquired the property in the early 1990s. How much the work will cost was not available Friday. It is being done in a way that will minimize its effect on the historic structure.

The Pinckney site preserves a 28-acre remnant of Snee Farm, Pinckney's Lowcountry plantation.

Pinckney was a principal author and a signer of the U.S. Constitution.