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King Street (225-381)

From Market to Calhoun

225-227 King St.
The Riviera Theatre was built in 1939 by Albert Sottile. This building is Charleston's best example of Art Moderne architecture. Previously on the site, built in 1830, was Kerrison's Department Store. Tradition says it is the South's oldest department store still in operation. That building, destroyed in the great fire of 1838, was rebuilt by Kerrison's and used until 1852 when it was sold to the mercantile firm of Browning & Leman. That firm had a new store built, designed by Charleston architect Edward C. Jones. The large dry goods store was remodeled into a theatre by architect John Henry Devereux. Known as the Academy of Music, it opened in 1869 and was for 70 years one of America's best known theatres. lt was patterned after European opera houses and had excellent acoustics. Sarah Bernhardt and other internationally known performers played the Academy. lt was demolished for construction of the present building. (Ravenel, Architects, p.211, 266; DYKYC, July 22, 1935.)

229-23 King St.
Rachel Lazarus built these three identical Greek Revival tenements c. 1839, with a loan from the Bank of the State of South Carolina, authorized under the Act for Rebuilding the City of Charleston, passed after the great fire of 1838. (Stockton, DYKYC, Jan. 15, 1979.)

235 King St.
Martin Vogel and Francis Salvo, partners in the firm of Vogel & Salvo, cabinetmakers, built this Greek Revival structure for their business in 1838-39, with a "fire loan" from the Bank of the State of South Carolina. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

237 King St.
This three story brick building, stuccoed, was designed by architects Abrahams & Seyle. The ltalianate building was erected in 1870 for C. D. Ahren & Co., grocers. The iron front has four Corinthian columns, supporting arches. The cornice on the upper facade is of brick and stucco with iron ornaments. Windows have iron lintels. John H. Lopez was the contractor of the building which has a large store space on the first level and a residence with handsome woodwork and plasterwork on the upper floors. The Queen city club and the Union Club, men's social organizations, met in the drawing rooms. (Stockton, DYKYC, May 3, 1982.)

241-243 King St.
John Siegling, a German-born merchant and founder of the Siegling Music House, built this three story brick building here as his business and residence, c. 1838. The building was later remodeled with the installation of a cast iron storefront, and in 1900 the exterior was totally remodeled and a music recital hall was constructed in the rear. Siegling's Music House, which was said to be the oldest music supply store in the country, was founded in 1819 and moved to this location in 1830. The property remained in the Siegling family until 1973, when the store was closed and the property sold. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

245 King St.
Nathan Hart or his heirs built this structure sometime after the fire of April 27-28, 1838. lt was originally three stories tall and was remodeled as a two story building with a Victorian ltalianate facade in the latter part of the 19th century.

247 King St.
Nathan Hart or his heirs also built this building after the 1838 fire, as a three story brick Greek Revival structure. A fire in 1875, which destroyed the building adjacent to the north, damaged the third floor of this building. Jane Levy's estate paid J.H. Lopez, contractor, to rebuild the structure as a two story building with a Victorian ltalianate facade. (Stockton, DYKYC, May 17, 1982.)

249 King St.
This three story brick building was constructed for Susan Wood in 1875-76, and was designed and built by architect-contractor John Henry Devereux. lt replaced an earlier building destroyed by fire in 1875. The ltalianate style facade was remodeled in the early 20th century. The building originally housed J.R. Read & Co., dry goods merchants. George Bernard, a prominent photographer, had his studio and residence upstairs. (Stockton, DYKYC, June 14, 1982.)

254 King St.
Moses C. Levy built this three story brick building in the Greek Revival style after the great fire of 1838. The building was occupied from c. 1839 by the famous firm of Hayden, Gregg & Co., jeweler and silversmiths. They remained here, under various changes of name, until after the Civil War. The cast iron lion heads which cover the earthquake bolt on the Hasell Street side are a reminder of the 1886 earthquake. (Stockton, DYKYC, July 19, 1982.)

256 & 258 King St.
These two buildings were built by two different property owners, who decorated the buildings' interiors to their own tastes, but cooperated to give the two buildings a unified facade. Subsequent remodelings have obliterated any similarities in the facade; only a portion of the surround of the common passageway between the buildings survives. The common facade was in the Greek Revival style then popular. William H. Jones, a jeweler, who built the structure at 256 King, also installed up-to-date Greek Revival woodwork in the residence above his store. Jacob Hersman, a dry goods merchant, who built 258 King, finished the residence in his building in conservative Regency (late Federal) woodwork, with only a few modern Greek Revival intrusions. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

260 King St.
Kerrison's Department Store, said to be the oldest in the South, was founded in 1830 by Charles and Edwin L. Kerrison. The store put its resources at the disposal of the Confederacy and in 1889 was the first store to employ saleswomen. The store was located originally at the northwest corner of King and Market Streets and has had several relocations in it's history. ln 1858, Edwin L. Kerrison purchased the site of present-day 96 Hasell St. from Congregation Beth Elohim and built the ltalianate structure which is still in use as part of the store. The present King Street building was constructed in 1920. (Charleston Grows, 136.; News & Courier, Sept. 21, 1930.)

268 King St.
John Thomson established in 1839 a seed store on King Street, which later became Mclntosh Seed House. Thomson gave a bequest to the City of Charleston, with which the construction of the Thomson Auditorium (later the home of the Charleston Museum) was partly financed. This building dates from c. 1850; the stone facade was added in 1894. (Stockton, unpub. notes; Whitelaw & Levkoff, 127, 163.)

270 King St.
The Masonic Temple in the Tudor Gothic style was built in 1871-72 of brick and stucco. The architect, John Henry Devereux, though a Roman Catholic, took the Entered Apprentice Degree of Masonry in order to curb possible criticism that the building was designed by a non-Mason. The building has been remodeled several times, but the beauty of the original design has not been totally obliterated. (Stockton, DYKYC, May 24, 1982; Ravenel, Architects, 266.)

273 King St.
This three story stuccoed brick structure was apparently built in the 1830s or '40s as a Greek Revival store and residence. The building was remodeled in 1885, only to be severely damaged in the "cyclone" (hurricane) of that year. lt was rehabilitated, only to be severely damaged in the 1886 earthquake, making more repairs necessary. Late 19th century photographs show the building with a two story high arch in the center of the facade and a domed cupola on the street corner of the building, in addition to the Victorian ltalianate features which still survive, after further remodelings in the 20th century. The remodelings of the 1880s were undertaken by the then occupant, Hirsch, Israel & Co., clothing merchants. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 29, 1982.)

274-276 King St.
Designed by architect John D. Newcomer and built by the Commercial lnvestment Co. as the home of the Commercial Savings Bank, in 1908-09, the three story masonry Renaissance Revival building acquired its present appearance in 1953, when it was remodeled by the South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. (Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 16, 1982; News & Courier, March 23, 1953.)

275 King St.
The Hirsch-lsrael Building, a three story masonry Baroque Revival building with a high, elaborate dome, was built here in 1897-99 as a clothing store for the Hirsch-lsrael Company. ln 1919, it became the Dime Savings Bank which subsequently merged to become the Peoples State Bank of South Carolina, which failed in 1932. Subsequently, the building was remodeled by taking it down to its first floor and modernizing the design, c. 1933. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

281 King St.
S.H. Kress & Company's Building was complete in 1931 and is in the Art Deco style then popular. lt is typical of Kress buildings of the period throughout the country. The department store was located at the northwest corner of King and Beaufain streets for two decades before building at this location. (Stockton, DYKYC, July 5, 1982.)

286-288 King St.
George Norton Miller built this three story brick double building in 1839-40, with a "fire loan." He was a member of Miller, Ripley & Co., of Charleston and New York, dry goods merchants. The building was Victorianized in 1883 by the family of John Henry Steinmeyer, who operated Steinmeyer's Mill on Gadsden Street. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 22, 1982.)

290-292 King St.
Miller, Ripley & Co. (Horatio Miller, Samuel P. Ripley, George N. Miller and Henry C. Bissell), dry goods merchants of New York and Charleston, bought this site in 1833-34 and had a double building erected by John Gordon in 1834. lt was destroyed in the great fire of 1838. The double building was immediately rebuilt, reusing the common wall from the burned structure. The two halves were subsequently remodeled from their original Greek Revival appearance -- No. 290 was Victorianized, while 292 was remodeled in the Art Moderne style of the early 20th century. (Stockton, DYKYC, April 4, 1983.)

293-297 King St.
Mordecai Cohen, in 1839, obtained a "fire loan" to build these three buildings, three stories of brick, probably in the Greek Revival style. The facades of all three were subsequently changed. (Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 30, 1982.)

300 King St.
This three story brick, stuccoed building was constucted either by John Weissinger, a German born baker, between 1790 and 1809, or by his heir shortly after his death in 1809. The facade was updated in 1912 by the Onslow Candy Company. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

302 King St.
Designed by architect John D. Newcomer, this building was constructed by the Charleston Building and lnvestment Company for the Title Guarantee & Deposit Company, as a bank and office building, in 1915-16. The building is two stories of brick, with a limestone facade. The lower portion has been remodeled. (Stockton, DYKYC, Nov. 15, 1982.)

304 King St.
This building was constructed by Albert Sottile in 1911 as the Princess Theatre. When built, it had elaborate plasterwork on the facade, lost in remodelings. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

306, 308 King St.
Samuel Scottow, a carpenter, built No. 308, a three story masonry building by 1793, when the house was mentioned in his will. The property remained in his family until 1810, when it was purchased by a merchant, Christian Henry Faber. Faber subsequently built two other buildings on the large lot, including the still existing three story brick building at 306 King and a building which stood on the site of 304 King. The ensemble of three buildings appears on a plat dated 1843. (Stockton, DYKYC, Sept. 6, 1982. _________, unpub. MS.)

313 King St.
John Anthony, a sadler and harness maker, apparently built this three and one-half story brick building sometime after purchasing the site in 1812. Originally it was a store and residence. About 1840, the upper stories were remodeled as a boarding house. The building is a fine example of the Federal style. lt is built of Charleston grey brick, laid in Flemish bond, with marble trim. (Stockton, unpub. MS.; Stoney, This is Charleston, 65.)

314 King St.
This three story, stuccoed brick building was built c. 1878 by Benjamin Feldman and Robert Teskey, grocers, as a store and residence. The store at 112 1/2 King was formerly the piazza to 314 King. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 21, 1982.)

316 King St.
Thomas Fleming, a prosperous merchant, built this three story stuccoed brick structure c. 1820 as an investment property. The present facade in brown brick was added in 1903, when Sarah Rubin was the owner. (Stockton, DYKYC, April 12, 1982.)

318 & 320 King St.
Samuel Pendergrass, a Sumter District planter, apparently built the structure, now know as 320 King, as a two and one-half story brick structure, sometime before May 1807 when it appeared on a plat. The half story was elevated to a full story after 1820, when Thomas Fleming owned it. The two story wood and masonry building known as 318 King, formerly the piazza of 320 King, was constructed c. 1860 by Mordecai David, a merchant. (Stockton, DYKYC, April 19, 1982.)

319-325 King St.
The Old American Hotel was apparently created c. 1850 by combining several older structures behind a common facade in the Greek Revival style, with the American eagle as a prominent motif. The first level was remodeled in the late 19th century, when cast iron pilasters in the Victorian style were installed. The building burned in 1974 and was restored in 1975. (Thomas, DYKYC, April 7, 1969.)

327-329 King St.
The double tenement was built in 1855-56 by John D. Meyer, a prosperous German grocer. lt was built by contractor Christopher C. Trumbo after plans by Barbot & Seyle, architects. The facade was subsequently remodeled in the latter part of the 19th century. ln 1923-27, the Gloria Theater, designed by architect C.K. Howell was built to the rear of the building, with an entrance foyer through the first floor of 329 King St. (Stockton, DYKYC, March1, 1982.)

336-338 King St.
This double building was built after August 1794 by John Cunningham (1739-1815), a merchant, as a commercial-residential structure. The common facade was subsequently remodeled in the 19th century, with ltalianate details. (Stockton, DYKYC, Feb. 22, 1982.)

337-339 King St.
This two story brick double building was built as an investment by Henry Dorre, a King Street baker, c. 1859. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 1, 1982.)

341 King St.
James White, a merchant, apparently built this three and one-half story Regency building between 1817 and 1821. The building formerly had a Regency style tripartite window in the front gable. (Stockton, DYKYC, Feb. 23, 1982.)

340 King St.
This two story brick building was built after 1821 by Mathew Miller, a jeweler. The facade dates from c. 1940. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

342 King St.
Mathew Miller also built this three story brick building after 1821. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

345 King St.
This two story Victorian commercial building was built in 1883 by Christopher P. Poppenheim, a hardware merchant, as his place of business. His store remained here until 1892, when he built and occupied the larger building at 363-365 King. Henry Oliver was the contractor. (Stockton, DYKYC, March l5, 1982.)

348 King St.
This three and one-half story brick building was built c. 1830 by Margaret Gidiere, a refugee from Santo Domingo. lt was a commercial-residential structure, with Mrs. Gidiere's dry goods store on the first level and her family home above. The building was subsequently a saloon, the Lyric, a vaudeville and movie theatre, an office-shop arcade, and more recently a restaurant. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

363 King St.
Architect W.B.W. Howe designed this Victorian building which was built in 1891-92 for Christopher P. Poppenheim, a hardware merchant. The front is of Philadelphia pressed brick trimmed with terra cotta. The building has been rebuilt behind the facade, as a shop and apartment complex. (Stockton, DYKYC, Dec. 28, 1981.)

371 King St.
The Garden Theatre, a Beaux-Arts style building, was built in 1917-18 by Albert Sottile as a vaudeville and "photoplay" theatre. lt was designed by architects C. K. Howell and David B. Hyer. The theater was rehabilitated in 1978 by the City of Charleston, which leases it from the Pastime Amusement Co. Architect Jeffrey Marc Rosenblum installed a modern theater in the interior, while restoring the exterior to it's original appearance. (Stockton, DYKYC, June 8, 1980.)

370 King St.
Headquarters of the Fellowship Society, which was founded in 1762 to establish a hospital. The Society loaned money to the U.S. Government during the Revolution and War of 1812 and to the Confederacy. The Society provides aid for widows and orphans. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

374-378 King St.
Site of the Marks Building, one of the city's grandest Victorian buildings. Built for the M. Marks & Sons department store, it opened in 1891. Designed by architect P. J. Lauritzen of New York, the large Renaissance Revival building cost $40,000 to build, not including land acquisition. Demolished 1955. (Stockton, unpub. notes; _____, DYKYC, Aug. 24, 1981.)

375 King St.
This dainty two story stuccoed brick building was built between 1868 and 1871 by Martha Given as a store and residence. (Stockton, DYKYC, Sept. 5, 1983.)

379 King St.
Mrs. Hannah Enston built this two story commercial building between 1872 and 1882. The property was part of the Enston Legacy, with which the Enston Home was founded. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

381 King St.
This three story stuccoed brick building was apparently built by William Enston, the prosperous King Street merchant and philantropist, sometime between his purchase of the property and his death in 1860. lt became part of the Enston Bequest, with which the Enston Home for the aged was built. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 8, 1982.)