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Church Street (1-41)

Photo: 37 Church St. c.1743

Church Street, named for the new St. Philip's Church, was one of the regularly laid out streets of the 1672 Grand Modell, extending the length of the town from what is now Cumberland Street to Vanderhorst Creek (present Water Street). Early references call it New Church Street, signifying the removal of St. Philip's from its original site, and in some cases, new Meeting Street, reflecting perhaps the loss of Old Meeting Street due to construction of the city walls, and perhaps the presence of the Baptist Church near it's south end. By 1739, it was known simply as Church Street. By that time, also, Vanderhorst Creek had been bridged and Church Street Continued was cut from Vanderhorst Creek south to Broughton's Battery on White Point. ("Streets of Charleston;" Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, 57-58; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 57-58.)

3 Church St.
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7 Church St.
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8 Church St.
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11 Church St.
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12 Church St. c.1810
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 -- This notable two and one-half story wooden house was built c. 1810. The one story piazza and the wooden fence are interesting features. (Stoney, This is Charleston, 26.)

13 Church St.
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15 Church St. c.1800
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- During the Civil War, this large brick house, then the home of Dr. William Snowden, was used as a hospital. The Snowden family silver, buried in the garden when the family evacuated to Columbia in 1865, was not found again until 1922. Dr. Snowden's wife, Amarynthia Yates Snowden, was one of the founders of the Confederate Home. Their son Yates Snowden wrote a History of South Carolina. The top floor of the house was heavily damaged in the 1886 earthquake and replaced with a mansard roof. (Nielsen, DYKYC, May 10, 1937; Stockton, unpub. notes.)

16 Church St.
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18 Church St.
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19 Church St. c.1875
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-- This former carriage house was built c. 1875 for the George W. Williams House (Calhoun Mansion) at 16 Meeting St. lt was remodeled as a residence in 1939, with Simons & Lapham, Charleston architects, installing 18th and 19th century style interiors. The brick wall on the street shelters a garden and terrace where the carriage entrance used to be. (Nielsen, DYKYC, May 10, 1937; Ravenel, DYKYC, Feb 17, 1947; Chamberlain & Chamberlain, Southern lnteriors, 62-64; Stoney, This is Charleston, 26.)

20-24 Church St. c.1775
IMAGE: 20 Church St. ON RIGHT |
 IMAGE: 22 Church St. | IMAGE: 24 Church St. -- This interesting group of Adamesque houses stands on the site of a row of tenements built before 1775 by Edward Fenwick and destroyed by fire or other means before 1785. Old plats show that the kitchens of the three tenements survived. The middle building was apparently the first to be rebuilt, by Daniel Brown, a mariner, who bought the vacant site in 1795 and was living there in 1796. ln 1801, George Chisolm bought the still vacant site at 24 Church and built on it promptly, as he is listed in the 1802 city directory as living there. James H. Ancrum, by 1809, had occupied the present house at 20 Church, having sold the William Rhett House, 54 Hasell St., which he had inherited from his mother, a great-grand daughter of Col. Rhett. Ancrum married a daughter of Col. William Washington. He apparently leased 20 Church from William Holmes, who bought the site in 1795 and whose family retained it until 1834.
(Stoney, This is Charleston, 27; ______ , unpub. MS; SCHS.)

21 Church St.
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26 Church St. c.1794
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 -- In November 1794, when Charlotte Fenwick Jackson and her husband Ebenezer Jackson conveyed this property to John Splatt Cripps, there was an unfinished house on the site. lt was perhaps the tenement which Charlotte's father, Edward Fenwick, ordered by his will to be built with funds from his estate. The house was completed either by Cripps, who was a merchant, or by James Watt, who purchased the property in 1796 and lived and operated a grocery at the location. Originally, the house was located two doors south of Lynch's Lane. When the lane (now Atlantic Street) was widened, c. 1800, this house became the corner building. (Green, unpub. MS; SCHS; Stockton, unpub. notes.)

30 Church St.
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31 Church St.
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32 Church St. c.1804
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 -- Robert Lindsay, a carpenter, leased the site in 1804 from Margaret White for a term of 16 years, with the right to erect a structure. His inventory, after his death in 1813, lists a two story wooden house among his assets. His widow was living here in 1815. Margaret White sold the property in 1817 to the Rev. Andrew Fowler. A Yale graduate, he was pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church, Edisto lsland, 1813 to 1817. As a member of the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in South Carolina, he helped found churches in Columbia, Camden, Cheraw, Florida, and North Carolina. He also published a weekly Episcopal newspaper. A subsequent owner-occupant was Turner Logan, a lawyer and U.S. Congressman in the 1920s. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS.)

33 Church St.
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34 Church St.
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35 Church St. c.1770
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This three and one-half story, stuccoed brick house was built c. 1770 by Thomas Young, who purchased the site in 1769. The lot then extended to Meeting Street and Young also built the house at 30 Meeting St., although, according to tradition that was sold uncompleted to Col. lsaac Motte, who complete its construction. This house was later the home of Dr. Joseph Johnson, author of Traditions and Reminiscences of the American Revolution. Dr. Johnson was also a prominent physician, lntendant (Mayor) of Charleston, president of the Charleston Branch of the Second Bank of the United States, and a union Party leader. He was a son of William Johnson, a leader of the Revolution in South Carolina, and a brother of William Johnson, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. ln 1941, the house became the home of Wilmer Hoffman, a nationally known sculptor. The house has valuable Georgian interiors. (Stoney, News & Courier, April 11, 1949; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 73-74.)

37 Church St. c.1743
IMAGE -- George Mathews, son of an early settler, Anthony Mathews, bought the site of this house in 1743 and constructed it soon afterward. The Georgia two story brick house has an asymmetrical plan typical of early 18th century local houses, and many early Georgian interior features. The wrought iron balcony is characteristic of early Charleston ironwork. The builder died in 1769 and his house was sold to Dr. Philip Skirving. According to tradition, an owner of the house safeguarded his money by keeping it in a cask on the front stoop, where no potential thief ever thought to look. (Stockton, DYKYC, Sept. 14, 1978; Jack Leland, Charleston Evening Post, Feb 13, 1969; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 73.)

38 Church St. c.1819
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-- This notable Regency style house was built c. 1819 by Dr. Vincent Leseigneur, a refugee to this city from the Santo Domingan slave revolution. The crenelated north wing was added after 1894. (Thomas, unpub. M.S.; Stoney, This is Charleston, 28; News & Courier, Jan 3, 1974.)

39 Church St. George Eveleigh House c.1743
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- The George Eveleigh House was built c. 1743, when Eveleigh purchased the site. ln 1753 he ordered the sale of "the dwelling House on White Point late in my own occupation." The two and one-half story stuccoed brick house is built of small, possibly imported brick and has an asymmetrical floor plan typical of early local houses. The interior has wide cypress board paneling in the Georgian style. The drawing room, which extends across the front of the house, has an Adamesque mantel from the Nathanie Heyward House, c. 1788, which stood at East Bay and Society streets. Eveleigh's lot formerly extended to Meeting St., and a subsequent owner built the house at 34 Meeting St. The lot remained undivided until 1795, when this part was sold to Dr. John Lewis Polony, a Santo Domingan refugee, and a naturalist and chemist who corresponded with leading European scientists and was a member of several European literary societies. The house formerly had a secret stair leading from a cupboard in the drawing room to a closet in the room below. The house was unroofed by a tornado in 1811, which lifted a 30 foot beam, carried it a quarter of a mile and drove it into the roof of a King Street house. (Stockton, DYKYC, Oct. 9, 1978; Stoney, This is Charleston, 28; ______ , unpub. notes; SCHS; ______ , News & Courier, April 5, 1949; Leland, Charleston Evening Post, June 25, 1968; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, 58; Chamberlain & Chamberlain, Southern Interiors, 60-61; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 64-73; Iseley & Cauthen, Charleston Interiors, 75.)

41 Church St. c.1909
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 -- Architect A. W. Todd built this house in 1909 as his residence. According to tradition he designed the house as a result of a wager challenging him to put a substantial house on the narrow (25 feet by 150 feet) lot. One of the more interesting features is the garage entry through the chimney. (Nielsen, DYKYC, July 13, 1936.)