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Archdale Street

Photo: 21 Archdale St. c.1808

Archdale Street was named for John Archdale, a Quaker, who was Governor of the Province of Carolina in 1695-1696. Archdale was a man of "character and ability" who introduced a series of important and beneficial laws, and whose brief time in office was characterized by "moderation, respect for the rights of all parties, firmness and the allaying of prejudices by the gentleness of steady toleration." (Wallace, 52-54.)


3 Archdale St. Mrs. Fullerton's Kitchen c.1820
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-- Mrs. Elizabeth Fullerton's Kitchen. This small two story brick structure, attached to the rear of a later building, was built before 1821 by Mrs. Fullerton as an outbuilding to her house, which faced Queen Street. The main house was destroyed by the great fire of 1861, but this brick kitchen survived. The present house at 110 Queen St. was built in 1912 by Mrs. George Ann Williams. (Greene, unpub. MS. SCHS.)

4 Archdale St. Gage Hall c.1893
Gage hall, a two story brick Victorian building, was presented to the Unitarian Church by Alva Gage, a merchant, in 1893. It was designed as an assembly room with living quarters for the minister on the second floor. (Legerton, 77.)

6 Archdale St. Unitarian Church c.1772
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Photo by Ron Anton Rocz -- Unitarian Church. Construction of this building began in 1772 and was interrupted by the Revolution. It is said that British soldiers stabled their horses in the incomplete building. It was completed and dedicated in 1787. The church originally was built to house the overflow of the Independent or Congregational Church on Meeting Street. The two churches constituted one corporate body served by two pastors who alternated between the two pulpits, preaching the same sermon to both congregations. The congregation of the Archdale Street church was chartered in 1817 as the Second Independent Church, with a Unitarian minister, the Rev. Anthony Forster. The congregation was rechartered in 1839 as the Unitarian Church in Charleston, and is the oldest Unitarian Church in the South. Dr. Samuel Gilman was pastor from 1819 to 1858. A New Englander and Harvard University alumnus, he wrote his alma mater's anthem, "Fair Harvard." His wife, Caroline Gilman, published and edited "The Rosebud," the first child's newspaper in the country. She is said to have laid out the formal garden on the south side of the church. Both are buried in the churchyard. The church was extensively remodeled in the Perpendicular Gothic style in 1852-54 by Francis D. Lee. "A certain degree of reverence for the old walls," according to the Courier, induced the congregation to retain them and adapt them to the new style. Lee attenuated the windows with Gothic arches, added buttresses and made the tower "more lofty and imposing," in his own words. For the interior, he drew his inspiration from the fan-tracery vaulting and pendants of the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster. Lee's vaulting is not structural, however, but constructed of lath and plaster. The building suffered severe damage in the earthquake of 1886, and was restored with contributions from Unitarians throughout the country. (Ravenel, Architects , p. 220, 222-223; Legerton, p. 76-78; Severens, Southern Architecture , 142-143. ______, "Architectural Taste," p. 7. Mazyck & Waddell, p. 20, illus. 37; Stoney, This is Charleston , p. 2.)

9 Archdale St.
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10 Archdale St. St. John's Lutheran Church c.1816
St. John's Lutheran Church is Charleston's oldest Lutheran congregation. Lutheranism in the city is documented as early as 1734, when, on May 26, the Rev. John Martin Bolzius, pastor of a company of Salzburgers en route to Ebeneazer, Ga., held a communion service in an inn. In 1742, the Rev. Henry Melchoir Muhlenburg, from Germany, ministered to Lutherans in Charles Town. By 1752, a Lutheran congregation had been organized under the Rev. John George Fredericks. The congregation worshipped at various places including the Huguenot Church, until their first building was begun in 1759 and dedicated in 1764. This wooden structure stood to the rear of the present structure, approximately where the parish house stands on Clifford street. Consequently Clifford Street, in 1788, was known as "Dutch Church Alley." During the Revolution, the Lutheran pastor, the Rev. John Nicholas Martin, refused to pray for the King of England. He was expelled from the city and his property was confiscated by the British. His successor, the Rev. Christian Streit, was taken prisoner by the British. Dr. John Bachman, a native of Rhinebeck, N.Y. became pastor in 1815. Under his direction, the present structure was erected in 1816-18. The building is thought to have been designed by Frederick Wesner (1788- 1848), a Charleston architect of German descent who designed the Old Citadel and other landmarks. It is known that Wesner had the contract for the wooden portions of the building. John Horlbeck, Jr., and Henry Horlbeck had the contract for the brickwork. The pulpit was donated by the cabinetmaker, Jacob Hass (it was altered in 1859). The tall iron gates and fence were designed by Wesner's brother in law, Abraham F. Reeves (1791-1832), an architect and member of the congregation, and the ironwork was executed by Jacob S. Roh in 1822. When built, the church had no steeple. Charles Fraser (1782-1860), the famous miniaturist, drew a plan for a steeple resembling that of St. Michael's, in 1835, but it was never built. Fraser is also said to have presented a steeple design in 1843, which was adopted, but never built. It is not clear whether the present steeple, erected in 1859, was designed by him. The contractor was David Lopez, who also built Temple Beth Elohin and other structures. During the Civil War, the church records which could have resolved this mystery were lost, and never found. The steeple is in the Italianate style, and has a bell shaped roof similar to that of the steeple of the first St. John's. The church was damaged by the 1886 earthquake and by the 1891 hurricane. The recessed chancel with its memorial windows was added in 1896. Mr. Bachman, who continued as pastor until 1874, was a vigorous theological leader and scientist. As a theologian, he led the organization of the South Carolina Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and Newberry College, and trained the first black ministers in Lutheranism. As a scientist, he collaborated with John James Audubon on the famous books, Birds of America and The Quadrupeds of North America. Two of Audubon's sons married two of Dr. Bachman's daughters. Dr. Bachman, though reluctant to see South Carolina secede from the Union, was convinced the Southern cause was just and said the opening prayer at the Secession Convention. Members of St. John's have included Ernest F. Hollings, Governor of South Carolina, U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate. Frederick Wesner, who was a member of City Council, Captain of the Municipal Guards and Master of the Work House, as well as an architect, builder and planter in St. James, Goose Creek, Parish, is buried in the churchyard, as is John Adam Horlbeck (1729-1812), one of the contractors off the Exchange Building. (Stockton, DYKYC, Oct. 1, 1979. Ravenel, Architects, p. 48, 137-146, 162, 165. Legerton, p. 38-39; Deas, p. 22, 30; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, p. 146, 148; Mazyck & Waddell, p. 20, illus. 37; Charleston Mercury, June 20, 1859.)

16 Archdale St. c.1882
Henry Viohl, a German grocer, built this two story frame single house in 1882 as a rental unit. Viohl, who lived at 34 Tradd St., was a native of Hanover, Germany. He came to Charleston as a young man and entered the grocery business in the 1860's. Prospering in that area, he was able to invest surplus funds in rental property, which he both bought and built. (Stockton, unpub MS.)

17 Archdale St.
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19 Archdale St. Philip Porcher House c.1773
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Philip Porcher house. A planter in St. Stephen's Parish, Santee, Porcher (pronounced Por-shay) was a Patriot at the beginning of the Revolution and loaned the South Carolina government a substantial amount of money. When the British overran the state in 1780, however, Porcher became a Tory. After the Revolution, his real estate was confiscated by the South Carolina authorities, but it was returned to him after influential friends testified to his "universal good character." The site of the house was one of the lots of the Mazyck Lands, acquired by lsaac Mazyck in 1712 and partitioned among his heirs in 1742. Porcher's wife, Mary, a daughter of Isaac Mazyck II, acquired the lot in 1765. A Gazette advertisement in 1773 referred to "Philip Porcher Esq.'s new house," in Archdale street. The two story frame, hip-roofed house has fine Georgian paneling in several rooms. It remained in the Porcher family until 1835. The new owner, Augustus Theodore Gaillard, possibly added the Regency period features in the interior: wide folding doors between the two drawing rooms and double doors under a large fanlight between the large drawing room and stairhall. The one story piazza on the south side was also a later addition. The front entrance and steps were restored recently to their original location. A photograph taken c. 1865 shows the house with the weatherboards painted white, or white washed. (Stoney, Charleston's Historic Houses 1950, 28-29; Nielsen, DYKYC, May 24, 1937.)

21 & 23 Archdale St. c.1808
IMAGE: 21 Archdale St. TOP OF PAGE  | IMAGE: 23 Archdale St.  -- Constructed by Dr. Samuel Wilson, the two tall brick Adamesque single houses were built sometime after 1804, on land acquired by his marriage with Catherine Marian Mazyck, one of the heirs to the Mazyck Lands. Dr. Wilson had completed at least one of the houses by 1808, when he and his sons Drs. Isaac M. Wilson and Stephen Wilson, were living on Archdale, corner of Magazine. Both houses are mentioned in Dr. Wilson's will in 1823. He devised to his son Dr. Isaac M. Wilson the corner house, where he was then living, and to his son Dr. Stephen Wilson, the adjacent house. The two houses, built of Charleston grey brick laid in Flemish bond, differ in details. Both have fine Adamesque interiors. The Greek Revival piazza on No. 21 is an obvious addition. (Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. l, 1977; Stoney, This is Charleston, 3-4.)

25 Archdale St. c.1886
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This unassuming two story frame house reveals none of the romance of blockade running, although its builder was engaged in that activity during the Civiil War. Jacob Francis, a native of Austria, came to Charleston at the age of 23, in 1858, as a mariner. During the War, he took great risks to run supplies, badly needed by the Confederacy, through the Union blockade. After the war, he continued to captain his sloop in the coastal rice trade. Francis bought the then-vacant lot from the German Friendly Society in 1884 and built the present single house by 1886. Capt. Francis died in 1903, on his sloop in the Stono River. This property remained in his family until 1964. (Stockton, DYKYC, June 20, 1977.)

27 Archdale St. c.1912
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 -- Site of the German Friendly Society Hall. The Society, organized in 1766 as a benevolent society, built a handsome hall here in 1801. The first president of the Society, Michael Kalteisen, participated in the cornerstone laying and later was buried in front of the hall. Subsequently, however, the remains were moved to Bethany Cemetery. The hall was built by John Horlbeck, Jr. (1771-1846) and Henry Horlbeck (1776-1837), masterbuilders who both served as president of the Society. They were sons of John Adam Horlbeck (1729-1812), one of the contractors of the Exchange Building, 1767-71. After the dedication banquet on Dec. 16, 180l, members complained about the difficulty of transporting food from elsewhere. lt was resolved to build a kitchen for the hall, and with Germanic practicality, it was decided to combine it with a rental residence. The kitchen/residence, also built by the Horlbeck brothers, was completed by September 1802. When a desirable tenant was not found, it was decided to house the schoolmaster of the Society's school, then being organized. The school, which occupied a room in the hall, was remarkable for its supply of scientific apparatus and for the fact that girls as well as boys were taught its use. The hall was the scene of many sumptuous dinners as well as meetings, and the Society's guests included the Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who visited in 1825 and was made an honorary member. The hall was shelled during the Federal bombardment of the city and on Sept. 17, 1864, a fire, believed to have been started by a Federal shell, destroyed the hall and several other buildings in the neighborhood. The two story brick kitchen/schoomaster's residence, however, survived and still occupies the middle of the lot. In 1866, the Society decided not to rebuild the hall, but to find a "more suitable" location (a decade earlier, the neighborhood had begun to turn into a bordello district, and remained so until World War II). The Society retained this property until 1908, however. The Society's hall is now at 29 Chalmers St. The two story frame building which stands on the site of the Society's Hall was built c. 1912 by Patrick F. Murray as a store and residence, for rental purposes. (Stockton, unpub. MS,_______, DYKYC, Aug. 29, 1977; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, 146; Ravenel, Architects, 147.)

29 Archdale St. c.1872
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 -- The small two story brick house, with its even tinier outbuilding, was built between 1872 and 1876 by Mrs. Ann Ross as a rental unit, replacing a house destroyed by fire in 1864 (the same fire which destroyed the German Friendly Society Hall next door). The new house was built on the foundations of the old house, which had been built c. 1835 by Mrs. Ross's brother, Robert F. Henry. The Ross family, who lived at 1 Meeting St., and the Henry family both had connections and real estate in Charleston and Philadelphia. Mrs. Ross's heir, her daughter Mary Jane, died in 1922, leaving such a complex will that her estate remained unsettled for two decades. Twenty-nine Archdale was sold from her estate in 1944. (Stockton, DYKYC, June 27, 1977.)

Northwest corner, Archdale and West Streets
Site of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, built in 1814 by discontented members of the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church. In 1823 the church was reorganized as the Third Presbyterian Church. The congregation moved in 1850 to Meeting Street and became the Westminster Presbyterian. The abandoned Archdale Street church was destroyed a few years before the Civil War. Title to the property remained with the Westminster congregation until 1953, when the City of Charleston purchased it for a public park. Later, it was purchased by the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina as part of the parking lot for Canterbury House, an Episcopal senior citizens home. (Horres, CEP, May l, 1969.)

40 Archdale St.
John Henry Bulwinkle built this three story brick structure c. 1879 as a grocery and saloon. The building has a Gothic Revival cornice in brick. The Bulwinkle family specialized in grocery stores, saloon and bakeries. (Stockton, DYKYC, Jan. 16, 1978.)

49 Archdale St. c.1801
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-- John Darby built this two and one-half story brick building c. 180l. Darby, a gold-and-silversmith, later became a grocer. The facade with its stepped gable was applied in the early 20th century. The two story brick kitchen is in the rear. (Stockton, DYKYC, March 3, 1978.)