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King Street (387-900)

North of Calhoun

387 King St.
Francis Marion Hotel was built in 1922-24 by the Marion Square Realty Company. (Stockton, DYKYC, Jan. 12, 1982.)

405 King St.
IMAGE -- St. Matthew's German Lutheran Church. The 265-foot steeple of this church once made it the tallest structure in South Carolina; it remains the tallest spire. The congregation was organized in 1840 by German speaking Lutherans. Their first building, at Hasell and Anson streets, is now St. Johannes' Lutheran. The church in 1856 purchased land outside the city for Bethany Cemetery. Having outgrown the old church, the congregation built the present one in 1867-72. Patterned after a German church, this Gothic Revival structure was designed by architect John Henry Devereux. A fire in 1965 sent the tall steeple crashing spectacularly into King Street. The church was rebuilt exactly as it had been, at a cost of over a half million dollars. (Ravenel, Architects, 265-266.; Legerton, 40-41.; Stoney, This is Charleston, 65.)

404 King St.
Charleston County Library was built in 1960 on the site of the City Guard House, the police station from 1887 to 1905. Sculptures by Willard Hirsch, the Charleston artist, were placed on the building in 1961. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

409 King St.
This substantial, four and one-half story building was built c.1808 by Lucretia Radcliffe, widow of Thomas Radcliffe and the developer of Radcliffeborough. Subsequently it was the Rev. Ferdinand Jacobs' Seminary for Girls. Jacobs' son, Dr. W. P. Jacobs, founded Presbyterian College at Clinton, S.C. and his son, Thornwell Jacobs, founded Oglethorpe College, Decatur, Ga. G.W. Aimar & Co., druggist, occupied the building from 1852 to 1978. The business was founded by George W. Aimar, who during the Civil War was a lieutenant in the Lafayette Artillery. During the war the building housed a Confederate dispensary and hospital. Later, a hotel known as the Aimar House was located on the upper levels. (Thomas, DYKYC, Jan. 13, 1968; Allen, DYKYC, Apri 18, 1983.)

415 King St.
This two story brick double building was built c. 1856 by the Charleston Gas Light Company, for rental purposes. The company, incorporated in 1846, was a corporate ancestor of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company. On the rear part of the property was a large iron gasometer (gas storage tank). This building had two stores on the first level and two residences above. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

416 King St.
This brick commercial/residential structure was built between 1803 and 1827 by John Brownlee. The present facade dates from 1947. (Preservation Consultants)

418 King St.
Possibly dating from the late 18th century, this brick structure appeared on an 1806 plat drawn for Mrs. Elizabeth Wragg. lt has English bond brick work, a dentil cornice and slate roof with ridge tiles.

426 King St.
This three story Federal style commercial/residential building, retaining a long line of outbuildings, was built by Francis Marks after he bought the property from Joseph Manigault in 1806. (Preservation Consultants)

442 King St.
This two and one half story brick house was built by James Ferguson, a planter in St. John's Berkeley, before 1840. The facade was added by Christopher Amme's family in the late 19th century. The Amme bake house was formerly in the rear. (Thomas, DYKYC, Feb. 14, 1972.)

456 King St.
The William Aiken House was built c. 1811 and is one of the city's best Adamesque structures. Aiken was President of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Co. lt is a registered national landmark as the birthplace of America's first railroad to use a steam locomotive to pull a train of cars on a track in regular service. The railroad began operation on Christmas Day, 1830, between Charleston and Hamburg, S.C. A full-scale model of the first locomotive, "The Best Friend of Charleston," is displayed in a small building in the rear. The railroad was the first to carry the U. S. Mail. The company went through various corporate changes and subsequently was purchased by the Southern Railway system, which used the building as its division headquarters for many years. Aiken added the east wing of the building after 1831. Note the Gothic Revival carriage house. Aiken was the father of Gov. William Aiken. (Ravenel, DYKYC, Oct. 9, 1944; Rhett & Steele, p. 90-91; Stoney, This is Charleston, 66.)

542 King St.
This substantial brick building was built between 1810 and 1817 by Margaret Gidiere as a store and residence. Mrs. Gidiere, a Santo Domingan refugee, later built the store and residence at 348 King. (Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 22, 1977.)

558 King St.
George S. Hacker, a lumber merchant, built this structure c. 1859. Hacker had a substantial plant in this vicinity, including a lumber mill and a sash and blind factory. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

900 King St.
The William Enston Home is patterned after institutions of this type in England. Enston, a prosperous furniture maker, merchant and steamship magnate, left his fortune for the establishment of a home for the elderly, like one in his native Canterbury, England, built "to make old age comfortable." ln 1887, 27 years after Enston's death, architect W.B.W. Howe, Jr. designed this complex of two story brick cottages following Enston's specifications. Enston required that the residents be the old and sick, aged 45 to 75 and of "good honest character," and none could suffer from "lunacy." The cottages occupy St. Martin's Court, named for the oldest Christian church in England; Queen Bertha' s Court, for England's first Christian queen; St. Augustine's Court, for England's first christian missionary; Canterbury Avenue for the founder's birth place; and Colsterworth Avenue, for the birthplace of his wife, Hannah. Enston died in 1860, leaving an estate valued at $1 million; losses due to the Civil War reduced it to $500,000. The City of Charleston received a portion of the estate in 1882, and the remainder after Mrs. Enston's death in 1886. Before her death, Mrs. Enston approved the site, which had been the Storen Farm. Construction began in 1887 and 24 cottages were completed. The city erected a memorial chapel with a campanile style tower. The complex is of a unified design, all in the Romanesque Revival style. An infirmary was built in 1931 and later converted to the superintendent's home. (Allen, DYKYC, Jan. 17, 1983.)