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King Street (1-98)

Photo by Ron Anton Rocz: 27 King St. Miles Brewton House c.1765

King Street, named for the ruler of England, was in the early days of the settlement the main highway into Charlestown, down the narrow ''Neck"' from the interior. lt followed a ridge of high ground between the many creeks and marshes lacing the peninsula. The road was known variously as "The Broad Path," the "High Way" and "The Broad Road." Those names continued to be applied to that part of the street above Beaufain Street until after the Revolution. During the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries, the upper part of King Street became the center of the wagon yard trade. Wagon drivers from the interior there traded country products for store goods. During the period from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, King street was a regional retail emporium. King Street ended at South Battery until 1911, when it was extended southward to newly created Murray Boulevard. (Smith, "Charleston and Charleston Neck;" Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, p. 62.) (Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 8, 1981; Stockton, "Historical & Architectural Profile.")

1 King St. Fort Sumter House c.1923
 -- Fort Sumter House -- Built as the Fort Sumter Hotel, this structure was completed in 1923 and was one of the city's most notable hotels at the time. The building, designed by G. Lloyd Preacher, cost $850,000 to build. The hotel closed in 1974 and was converted to offices and condominiums. (Stockton, unpub. notes.)

3 King St. c.1911
The "Narrowest House." This two story frame house, only 16 feet wide on the outside, contains five rooms. lt was built by Henry Frost Walker, an engineer and professor at the College of Charleston, c. 1911 as a rental unit behind his house at 36 South Battery. (News & Courier, March 15, 1965.)

8 King St.
-- This house, three stories of wood on a high brick basement, is in the Regency style. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60; DYKYC, March 15, 1933.)

10 King St. c.1791
This house is said to have been built by Nathaniel lngraham, c. 1791.

19 King St.
This notable, three story frame Georgia house with Greek Revival piazza was built, according to tradition, by Thomas Lamboll. Lamboll's Bridge or Wharf, was located at the foot of King Street on the west side where it met the water at what is now South Battery. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 174; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60.)

21 King St. Patrick O'Donnell House c.1856
 -- The Patrick O'Donnell House, a three and one-half story brick on a high brick basement, stuccoed was built in 1856-57 and is one of the city's most elaborate houses in the Italianate style of the mid 19th century. O'Donnell built his "ltalian palace," according to tradition, for his prospective bride, but took so long at the task that she married another. Consequently, local wits called the house "O'Donnell's Folly." O'Donnell modified the traditional single house plan by adding to the north side a slightly recessed wing (balancing the slightly recessed end of the piazza), containing the formal entrance hall and stair. The plan allowed the main rooms to flow into each other. The exterior has a rusticated first level, vermiculated quoins, an elaborate cornice with both dentils and modillions. Each tier of the piazza has a different entablature on fluted Doric columns. The interior has very elaborate plasterwork in the taste of the period. An unusual feature is the face of Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," which is reproduced repeatedly in the ceiling medallions of the double drawing room. O'Donnell was a building contractor whose projects included St. Luke's Church at 22 Elizabeth St. Josephine Pinckney, the novelist, lived here from 1907 to 1937, and the Poetry Society of South Carolina was organized here in 1920. lt was also the home of Mrs. Thomas R. Miccahan, who is said to have been the model for Melanie in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind. (Ravenel, Architects, p. 224-227; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60; Stoney, News & Courier, April 15, 1964; Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 7, 1978.)

22 King St. c.1789
This large frame house is said to have been built by Alexander Chisolm, c. 1789. The mansard roof was added in the late 19th century. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60.)

23 King St.
This two story wooden house is said to have been built by Thomas Lamboll in the 18th century. The balcony was formerly on a building at 56 Broad St. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60; Deas, Early Ironworks, p. 80-81.)

24 King St. c.1820
This large frame single house is believed to have been built by John Laurens North before 1820. The balcony on the second level also came from 5 Broad St. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 60; Deas, Early Ironworks, p. 80-81.)

27 King St. Miles Brewton House c.1765
 -- Miles Brewton, between 1765 and 1769, built this house, which is considered one of the finest Georgian Palladian houses in America. Brewton, a leading slave merchant, is said to have spent f8,00 Sterling on this house. Based on the villas of Andre Palladio, the house has a two-tiered portico with can and lonic columns of Portland stone. lts platform, paved with marble, is reached by two flights of marble steps. lts pediment has a delicate oval window. The main doorway has the earliest example of an elliptical fanlight in Charleston. The house is noted for interior and exterior woodwork of exceptional quality, carved by Ezra Waite of London. His work shows the influence of Thomas Chippendale, the famous English cabinetmaker, especially in the use of ''cothick"' motifs. ln the main hallway, which is paved with Purbndstone imported from Portland, a grand mahogany stair rises to the chambers and the drawing room. The great drawing room has a coved ceiling, pedimented doors and a handsome marble chimneypiece. The crystal chandelier in the drawing room was made for the house when built and is one of two known to have existed in colonial South Carolina. The forecourt is paved with flagstones and protected by a handsome wrought iron fence with double gate. The gates are simple but the overthrow is elaborate, with a baroque shell in the center, and a variety of scrolls and tendrils. Hexagonal lantern rings are set on either side. The heavy iron bay with the spikes, called an '"i,"' is said to have been added after the alleged Denmark Vesey slave insurrection plot was revealed in 1822. The property also has a fine line of outbuildings, including the front stable in the Gothic Revival style The garden originally extended to Legare Street. Miles Brewton did not enjoy his house for long; he and his wife and children were lost at sea in 1775. His sister, Mrs. Rebecca Brewton Motte, resided here during the Revolution, when it became the headquarters for Sir Henry Clinton and Lords Rawdon and Cornwallis. Tradition says Mrs. Motte locked her three young daughters in the attic while the British were in the house. Another tradition says a British officer etched Clinton's profile and the picture of a full-rigged ship on one of the marble mantels. Mrs. Motte's three daughters married, respectively, John Middleton of Lee's Legion (see 14 George St.), Gen. Thomas Pinckney (ditto), and Capt. William Alston of Marion's Brigade. Alston bought the house after his marriage and made it his town residence for nearly 50 years. He raised thoroughbred horses at his Waccamaw plantation, which was visited in 1791 by President George Washington. The house was inherited by Alston's daughter Mrs. William Bull Pringle, during whose ownership the house was occupied in 1865 as the headquarters of Union Generals Mead and Hatch. The house has continued to be owned and lived in by members of the related Brewton-Motte-Alston-Pringle-Manigault families. (Simons & Lapham, Early Architecture, p. 36-50; Chamberlain & Chamberlain, Southern lnteriors, p. 104-106; Iseley & Cauthen, Charleston Interiors, p. 48-50; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 93-110; Deas, Early Ironwork, p. 40-41; Whiffin, American Architecture, p. 7; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, p. 69-70; Ravenel, Architects, p. 49-53; Severens, Southern Architecture, p. 66-68; Stockton, DYKYC, Feb. 17, 1975; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61.)

39 King St. c.1850
-- This house apparently was built by Richard Yeadon, Jr. after he purchased the property in 1847. A photograph taken before 1886 shows the house as a three story building of stucooed brick, with side piazza. Yeadon gave the house as a wedding present in 1858 to his niece, Louisa Clifford Smith, who married Henry T. Thompson, Jr. They sold it in 1868. ln 1887, the house was acquired by Henry Henken, who rebuilt the structure, which had been heavily damaged by the 1886 earthquake. (Greene, unpub. MS.)

41 King St. c.1746
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- John Prue, a house carpenter, built this house sometime after purchasing the site in 1746. He made his will in 1772, bequeathing his "house and lot" in King Street to the proposed college (which became the College of Charleston). The house is two and one half stories of brick. (Greene, unpub. MS.)

44 King St. c.1796
-- This two and one-half story brick single house was built c. 1796 by John McKee, a brickmason, McKee lived in Bedon's Alley and owned much real estate. He bequeathed the house to the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which hands it remained until 1915. (Ravenel, DYKYC, Dec. 22, 1941; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61.)

46 King St. c.1850
-- This two story brick house was built c. 1850 by Walter Webb, a florist who also laid out gardens. The house has a dogtooth cornice under the eaves of the slate roof. The front door originally was centered in the facade and gave entry to a center hall, as in other single houses. Mrs. George Huntington, who bought the property in 1930, remodeled the house after an automobile crashed into the first level. (Ravenel, DYKYC, Dec. 22, 1941; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61.)

50 King St. c.1729
(AKA 6 Price's Alley)IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This tiny two and one-half story frame house was apparently built by John Cowan (or Cowen) sometime before 1729. lt is also called the Dill House because that family occupied it from 1758 to 1848. The exterior features a nice cornice of wooden modillions. The house is two rooms deep, without a central hall, so the stair rises from the rear room. The interior has simple early paneling crown molding and mantelpieces. (Iseley & Cauthen, Charleston Interiors, p. 44; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61; Thomas, DYKYC, July 15, 1971.)

52 King St. c.1730
This small two and one-half story frame house was built c. 1730 by Edgar Wells. ln the 1780s, it was occupied by Dr. George Hahnbaum, physician to the German Puseliers and later a founder of the Medical Society of South Carolina. The trajectory of a cannonball can be traced through the structure timbers. (Stockton, unpub. notes; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61.)

54 King St. c.1768
-- This three and one-half story frame single house, with a two-tiered Regency piazza, is believed to have been built c. 1768. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 61.)

55 King St. c.1762
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This two and one-half story brick house was originally a double tenement built by Frederick Grimke c. 1762. Subsequently, it was the home of his descendant, Charles Fraser, the noted miniature painter, author, attorney and amateur architect. Born in 178 in British-occupied Charlestown, Fraser was a son of Alexander Fraser and Mary Grimke. He painted close to 500 miniatures, many of which survive. His most famous subject was Lafayette, whom he painted in 1825. ln 1854 he published My Reminiscences of Charleston, a record of life in Charleston in the 1790s. As an architect he designed a cupola for the Old Exchange in 1833, which afterwards was removed, and a steeple for St. John's Lutheran Church, which apparently was never built. He died in 1860 and is buried in St. Michael's Churchyard. (Ravenel, Architects, p. 159-162; Smith & Smith, Charles Fraser, passim; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 334; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 62; Greene, unpub. MS.)

73 King St. c.1820
-- This three and one-half story brick houes is believed to have been built c. 1820. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 62.)

75 King St. c.1739
-- William Elliott apparently built this house by 1739, when it appears on the "lchnography" of that year. lts simple and robust design, thick walls and low ceilings, as well as simple paneling, point to an early construction date. (Stoney, Charleston's Historic Houses, 1953, p. 14-15; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 62; Iseley & Cauthen, Charleston Interiors, p. 76; Chamberlain & Chamberlain, Southern Interiors, p. 92-93.)

79 King St. c.1747
-- This two and one-half story, stuccoed brick house is believed to have been built c. 1747 by Francis Baker. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 62.)

80 King St. c.1770
-- This two and one-half story frame house was built by Col. Maurice Simons, merchant and planter. He was born in 1744, a son of Benjamin Simons and Ann Keating of Middleburg Plantation. He was elected to the Second Provincial Congress in 1775, and commanded a militia unit which defended Charlestown during the seige of 1780. He was taken prisoner when the city fell, and petitioned the British for protection. For that petition, his real estate was amerced by South Carolina authorities. Col. Simons was killed in 1785, in a duel with Maj. William Clay Snipes of Round O, and was buried at St. Philip's. (Stockton, unpub. M.S.)

82 King St. c.1786
Robert Haig contracted with a carpenter in 1786 to have this two story frame house built. (Greene, unpub. MS.)

84 King St. c.1784
-- This three and one-half story, stuccoed brick house was apparently built c. 1784 by George Ross, a tinsmith. (Greene, unpub. MS; Stoney, This is Charleston.)

85 King St. c.1844
-- This brick house was built c. 1844 by Mark E. Cohen, an Ashley River planter, who sold it in 1848. (Cupp, unpub. MS.)

88 King St. c.1742
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This two story brick building was built c. 1742 by Mathew Vanall, carpenter and cabinetmaker on land leased from the Huguenot Church. The church in 1742, leased seven lots to tradesmen, for 50 years at low annual rentals, on condition that each build a brick house, not less than 15 feet by 27 feet, with two chimneys. Five surviving houses fit the specifications: 88, 92, 94, 96 and 98 King. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS.)

90 King St.
Site of Fayolle's Long Room, where in 1819 La Society Francaise, the oldest French benevolent society in the U.S., was organized. (The marker at 98 King is in the wrong location.) From 1801 to 1836, Peter Fayolle leased from the Huguenot Church the two properties now known as 88 and 90 King St. He resided at 88 King and had his Long Room in a building on the lot now occupied by 90 King. ln 1836, Fayolle relinquished 88 King to the Church, but remained in possession of the Long Room at 90 King until his death the next year. Fayolle, a professional French dancer, conducted a dancing school in his Long Room. Subsequently, the Long Room (or a building on the site was used as the Turn Verein Hall, a German fraternal meeting place, which was demolished about 1906. (Greene, unpub. MS; CEO Plat Book #1882.)

92 King St. c.1742
This brick house was built c. 1742 by William Pharrow (Farrow), a mariner, on land leased from the Huguenot Church. (Greene, unpub. MS, SCHS.)

94 King St. c.1742
Robert Harvey, a carpenter, built this two story, hip-roofed brick house c. 1742 on land leased from the Huguenot Church. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS. Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 63.)

96 King St. c.1742
James Hilliard, a watchmaker, erected this two and one-half story, gable roofed house c. 1742 on a lot leased from the Huguenot Church. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS. Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 63.)

98 King St.
John Vaun, a carpenter, leased a lot from the Huguenot Church and built this two and one-half story brick, gable-roofed single house.