S. Parker Gilbert, a retired chairman of the board with Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and former vice president of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, died Wednesday. He was 81.
Although Gilbert was a New York native and resident, he committed himself to the Lowcountry with his purchase of Mulberry Plantation in 1988.
The mansion at Mulberry Plantation, which overlooks the Cooper River near Moncks Corner, is estimated to have been built in 1714 and, according to the National Register of Historic Places, is the third-oldest plantation house in South Carolina and one of the oldest brick residences to survive in both the Carolinas.
A previous Post and Courier story reported that Gilbert bought the plantation in 1988 from the Historic Charleston Foundation, which was trying to protect the property from being subdivided. The story also mentioned that Gilbert was a “conservation-minded buyer” and he and his wife planned to live there in the winter.
The mission of the Historic Charleston Foundation, established in 1947, is to preserve and protect the “architectural, historical and cultural character of Charleston and its Lowcountry environs,” according to its website. In 1996, the foundation granted the Robert N.S. and Patti Whitelaw Founders Award to Gilbert and his wife, Gail, for their restoration of South Mulberry. In 2014, the 300th anniversary of the plantation, the Historic Charleston Foundation granted the Gilberts with the Frances R. Edmunds Historic Preservation Award for their protection of Mulberry Plantation. This award is given on special occasions to recognize those “who have exhibited exceptional leadership in preservation efforts,” per the foundation’s website. It is the highest and most prestigious award that the foundation can offer.