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Broad Street (1-39)

Photo: 1 Broad St. c. 1853

Other photos this page:

12 Broad St. c.1783

24 Broad St. c.1791

36 Broad St. c.1803

Plus additional linked photos.

Broad Street was just that, the broadest street in Charles Town. The street was 61 feet wide at the intersection of East Bay and 100 feet wide between St. Michael's Church and the Beef Market (which stood on the site of City Hall) . Records during the period, 1698 to 1714, interchangeably refer to Broad Street and Cooper Street, presumably for Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper .
("Streets of Charleston," Ichonography, 1788)


1 Broad St. c.1853

-- Bankers Trust of South Carolina is housed in a three story, ltalian Renaissance Revival style building faced with Connecticut brownstone, built in 1853. The building was designed by the Charleston architectural firm, Jones & Lee (Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee) who planned many local buildings and worked elsewhere in South Carolina. Jones had his office in this building in January, 1857. The building was constructed for the State Bank of South Carolina and cost an estimated $100,000 to build. Due to the Federal bombardment of the city, 1863-65, the State Bank moved up the peninsula to Cannon Street. The building at 1 Broad St. was wrecked by the shelling, and the State Bank collapsed along with the Confederacy. The building was rehabilitated and ehlarged in 1868. For a time it was owned by George A Trenholm, cotton broker, former Treasurer of the Confederacy and blockade runner. When the Federal government sued Trenholm and his associates after the war for import duties on the illegal blockade goods, his company went bankrupt. He reorganized his cotton brokerage business and remade his fortune, however. In 1875, the building was purchased by another local merchant and blockade runner, George Walton Williams, who founded the Carolina Savings Bank here in 1875. During the late 19th century, the bank was located on the first floor, the office and exchange of Southern Bell on the second floor, and the local office of the U.S. Weather Bureau on the third floor. The Carolina Savings Bank merged with First National Bank in 1957 and moved from 1 Broad. The building again became a bank in 1963 when it was bought by the Carolina Bank and Trust Company for its main office. Bankers Trust of South Carolina took over Carolina Bank in 1969 and 1 Broad became the main Charleston office of Bankers Trust. In 1978-80, Bankers Trust completed renovation of the building, restoring the exterior as well as the interior with its elaborate 19th century plaster work and ceiling painting. During the renovation, a cannonball hole was found in one of the pine ceiling beams. Cannonballs have also been found in the basement from time to time. Notable architectural features of the exterior include the lion head keystones on the first floor, each of which is different. The Italian Renaissance Revival style is based on the ''palazzos'' of 15th and 16th century ltaly.
(Stockton, DYKYC, June 25, 1979.; Charleston Daily Courier, March 7, 1853; Bergeron, passim; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 10; Ravenel, Architects, p. 212, 214; Mazyck & Waddell, illus. p. 59; Simms, "Charleston, The Palmetto City"; Severens, "Architectural Taste", p. 6; Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


3 Broad St. c.1853

-- This building was also designed by Jones & Lee and was built in 1853 for Edward Sebring, president of the State Bank at 1 Broad St. It was built by James P. and R. Earle, contractors. The first occupants were Samuel G . Courtenay, bookseller, on the first floor and Walker & James, publishers, on the upper floors. In 1856, the building was acquired by Walker, Evans & Cogswell, printers and publishers. That firm was founded in 1821 by John C. Walker, who was later joined by his brothers Joseph and Alexander. First located at 15 Broad St., the stationary and bookbinding business moved in 1837 to present-day 117 East Bay. ln 1850, Joseph Walker became associated with Robert James in the firm Walker & James, book publishers, the first tenants here. In 1852, John C. Walker and Benjamin F. Evans became partners as Walker & Evans. ln 1855, when Harvey Cogswell joined the partnership, it became Walker, Evans & Cogswell and has retained that name since then. After Walker, Evans & Cogswell purchased 3 Broad, it was joined in the rear with 117 East Bay, to form a single L-shaped building. ln 1909, a two story printing plant was built to the south of the older buildings, at East Bay and Elliot streets. During the Civil War, the business relocated to Columbia, S.C., where the firm printed currency for the Confederacy. After the war, the firm was located at Meeting and Market streets for two years. Except for that interlude, the firm occupied this building unti 1982, when the building was sold. In 1983-84, the building was renovated as office condominiums. Three Broad is four stories tall, of Charleston grey brick laid in Flemish bond, with brownstone cornices and sills on the basket-arched windows of the upper levels. A bracketted cornice of pressed metal extends across the parapet roof-line. The Italianate style of the building was a popular one in Charleston in the 1850s, and one in which Jones & Lee excelled.
(Stockton, DYKYC, Sept. 17, 1979.; Stockton, unpub. M.S.; Mazyck & Waddell, illus. p. 59; Ravenel, Architects, p. 212; Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Walker, Evans & Cogswell, One Hundred Years of WECCO passim. )


7 Broad St. c.1850

-- The ltalianate style brownstone front of this building may mask an older structure, but it appears that the facade, at least, was erected in the 1850s for William N. Martin and John C. Martin, brokers.
(Green, unpub. MS, HCF; Mazyck & Waddell, illus. 59)


9 Broad St . c.1856

-- William Pinckney Shingler and T. J. Shingler, partners as Shingler Brothers, "exchange brokers," built this two story building in 1856, after receiving permission from adjacent property owners to anchor joists in their brick walls. Charleston architect Edward Brickell White designed the building, with its Italian Romanesque Revival facade of brownstone, executed by the New York stonecutter W.G. Chave. The facade carries the inscription, "Exchange Office." The Shingler Brothers speculated in cotton exports, and the senior partner, Willia Pinckney Shingler, appears to have been especially daring in that risky but potentially very lucrative form of trade. Said to have been a man of commandingly handsome appearance, he built the fine house at 9 Limehouse in the same year this building was erected. He lost that mansion within a year, but a year later he built an even larger house on the other side of Limehouse Street, with profits from that exciting trade.
(Green, unpub. MS, HCF; Ravenel, Architects, p. 198-199; Charleston Courier, June 17, 1856; Stockton, unpub. notes.)


11 Broad St. c.1856

-- Edward B. White also designed this ltalianate style building in 1856 for S. G. Courtenay & Co., book sellers. The brownstone facade was also the work of W. G. Chave of New York. The building contractor was David Lopez. The carved globe, book and scroll, centered in the parapet, are relics of the Courtenay firm's occupation of the building. The firm published books as well as sold them. According to tradition, William Gilmore Simms, the poet, novelist and editor, wrote portions of his novels on the bookstore's counters. Pressed for installments of his works, which ran serially in the Southern Literary Gazette, he would ask for a pencil and paper and stand at a counter writing enough for a forth-coming issue. In 1912 the E. H. Robertson Cigar Company was located here. In 1941, after remodeling, it reopened as Robertson's Cafeteria, and within a few years became a meeting place for Charleston's political and business leaders.
(News & Courier , April 14, 1947; Charleston Courier, June 17, 1956; Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Stockton, DYKYC, July 17, 1975; Ravenel, Architects, p. 198-199)


12 Broad St. c.1783

-- This fine Quincy granite facade was applied c. 1839 to a building constructed c. 1783 by Jame Wright, a merchant. The facade was built by the Charleston lnsurance and Trust Co., which had its name carved in the granite lintel over the front door. The company bought the building from the Charleston Fire and Marine lnsurance Company on August 5, 1839. The facade design is based on two storefront designs in a pattern book published by the New England architect, Asher Benjamin, with one design placed on top of the other .
(Stockton, News & Courier , May 16, 1974; DYKYC, Sept. 22, 1952; Bryan, "Boston's Granite Architecture.")


13 Broad St. c.1800

-- Henry W. Conner, an attorney, applied this red brick Queen Anne facade, c. 1890 to an earlier building, the core of which probably dates from c. 1800.
(Green, unpub. notes. HCF)


14 Broad St. c.1799

IMAGE-- Now part of South Carolina National Bank, this building is believed to have been built c. 1799, with a mid-l9th century facade change, and a further remodeling, taking off the architectural features of the 19th century facade except for the arched openings, in the mid-20th century. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 11)


15 Broad St. c.1801

-- This four story brick building was either built c. 1801 for Agnes Smith (Mrs. John Smith) or c. 1815 by her son, Hugh Smith. The Italianate facade treatment of bracketed cornice and flat and pedimented window cornices was applied in the 1850s by James K Gardiner and Alexander Gordon, hardware merchants. Agnes Smith, a native of Scotland, was the wife of John Smith, a merchant; she is buried in the First (Scots) Presbyterian Churchyard. Her son Hugh Smith was also a merchant, and an amateur architect who designed the St. Andrew's Society Hall (built 1814-15, burned 1861), and whose plan for the South Carolina College was commended in 1802, but not adopted, Robert Mills of Charleston receiving the commission instead.
(Bryan, Architectural History of the South Carolina College, p. 12-13, 16, 19; Ravenel, Architects, p. 104-106; Stockton, News & Courier , July 17, 1975; Thomas, DYKYC, Sept. 16, 1968; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 11; Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


16 Broad St. c.1817

-- South Carolina National Bank occupies this two story, stuccoed brick structure, constructed for use as the Charleston office of the Second Bank of the United States, whose charter was drawn up by John C. Calhoun. The first Bank of the United States had been chartered in 1791 and had established a Charleston office (see 100 Church and 80 Broad). Its charter lapsed in 1811 and was not renewed. In 1810, however, Calhoun introduced a bill in Congress to reestablish the Bank of the United States. This building was built in 1817 to house the Charleston office, known as the office of Discount and Deposit, of the second bank. Due to mismanagement at other branches, President Andrew Jackson withdrew government deposits in 1833, causing the bank's collapse in 1834. Several influential South Carolinians including Henry Gourdin, a Charleston businessman and legislator, and Robert Y. Hayne, South Carolina Governor and United States Senator, organized the Bank of Charleston which purchased the property and assets of the Bank of the U.S. By 1848, the Bank of Charleston had branches in several Southern cities. During the Civil war, the bank loaned the Confederate government $1.5 million, and the fall of the Confederacy almost caused the bank to fail. In 1926, the Bank of Charleston merged with the Norwood National Bank of Greenville and the Carolina National Bank of Columbia to form the South Carolina National Bank. The building is in a simplified Classic Revival style, with arched and trabeated openings, pilasters and a pediment. The magnificent eagle of gilded oak, set within the pediment, dates from l8l7. The building was expanded to the north in 1856. The Directors' room in the north extension, with its wooden Corinthian pilaster and wainscoting painted to resemble marble, is attributed to Charleston architect Edward C. Jones. The architect of the main building is unknown: some authorities speculate that it was designed by Robert Mills.
(Waring, DYKYC, March 11, 1935; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 11; Ravenel, Architects, p. 216-217, 219; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 262)


17 Broad St. c.1848

-- Claudian B. Northrop, an attorney, built this building c. 1848, but it was thoroughly remodeled in 1870-71 for the south Carolina Loan and Trust Company. The architects for the remodeling were Abrahams and Seyle (Thomas H. Abrahams and John H. Seyle); the contractor was George W. Egan. Both the facade, with its cast iron storefront and plaster ornamentation in the Italianate style, and the interior, with its fine plasterwork and woodwork, date from the l870-7l remodeling. George S. Cameron was president of the bank, which began operation in 1869. Claudian B. Northrop, during the Confederate War, became interested in becoming a priest, and was ordained in 1867. He was assigned to St. Mary's as assistant pastor and in 1870 became pastor, a post he filled until his death in 1882. He is buried in St. Mary's under the floor of the center aisle, before the high altar. Inspired by his example, his nephew, Henry Pinckney Northrop, became a priest also, and eventually Bishop of Charleston.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 17 1981.)


18-22 Broad St. c.1910

IMAGE-- The People's Building was Charleston's first "skyscraper," erected in 1910-11 at a cost of $300,000. It was designed by a Swedish architect, Victor Frohling of Thompson & Frohling, of New York, and built by the Hadden Construction Co. The pile driving for the structure so weakened a nearby ancient residence that the People's Building and Investment Company had to buy it. The project was organized by R. Goodwyn Rhett, mayor of Charleston and president of the People's National Bank. By many it was seen as a sign of "progress", while others were afraid it would ruin Charleston's skyline. President William Howard Taft, who viewed the city from the top of the building, said, ''I don't believe that it did ruin the skyline, but if it did the view from up here makes it worth it.'' When the building opened in April 1911, people came just to ride the steel frame elevators. The first two floors of the building are faced with Winnsboro granite, while the upper floors are faced with buff-colored brick and terra cotta. The eight story building is constructed of concrete and steel and rated as fireproof. Originally it had, in addition to the banking space, nine rooms on a mezzanine and l3 rooms on each of the upper flours, and the building was steam heated. The People's Bank closed in 1936 and the building was purchased by the Southeastern Securities Co., Charles L. Mullaly, president. Mullaly installed the two white marble leopards at the main entrance. Carved from Italian marble by an unknown 18th century artist, the leopards were brought to Charleston from an estate near Boston, Mass. (Stockton, DYKYC, Nov. l3, 1972. Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


19 Broad St. c.1794

-. Andrew Kerr, a merchant, built this building c. 1794. It was the location of the Bank of the State of South Carolina from 1817 to 1838, and of the South Western Railroad Bank, which began operations around 1840. The granite facade was added about 1840. The architect for the remodeling may have been Nathaniel F. Potter, one of the builders of the Charleston Hotel and the principal designer of Milford Plantation. The top portion of the facade fell in the 1886 earthquake. The large granite blocks, some weighing several tons each, and set about 45 feet above the ground, were thrown from ten to 14 feet from the base of the wall, some striking the street with such force as to break the water mains underground. At the time of the earthquake, the building housed The News and Courier, which remains in publication as Charleston's oldest newspaper. It was founded in 1803 as the Charleston Courier, and merged in 1872 with the News (founded in 1866) to form The News and Courier under the ownership of B. R. Riordan and Capt. F.W. Dawson, who made it a primary advocate of New South Industrialism, first expressing the shibboleth of that movement, '"Bring the mills to the cotton."
(Mazyck & Waddell, p. 14-15, illus. 48; Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Ravenel, Architects, p. 177)


21 Broad St. c.1802

-- David Alexander, a merchant, built this three story brick building c. 1802. A photograph of 1883 show its facade faced with brick laid in Flemish bond. The present Victorian facade is presumed to date after the earthquake of 1886, and includes a conical-roofed turret .
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Mazyck & Waddell, illus. 48)


23 Broad St. c.1786

-- Edgar Wells, a tailor, constructed this building c. 1786. The facade treatment dates from c. 1838.


24 Broad St. c.1791

-- This building was built by John James Himeli soon after 1791, and was given by him to his wife, as trustee, in 1803. After his death she sold it in 1817 to Ann Eleanor van Rhyn, whose executors sold it to Abraham Ottolengui in 1841. Ottolengui altered the facade c. 1841, and a cast-iron store front was added c. 1875 by the heirs of Jacob Barrett. The storefront was so damaged by the collision of an automobile in 1948 that it was removed. The lower facade treatment is c. 1948.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


25-27 Broad St. c.1839

-- William Wragg Smith, an attorney, built this double building c. 1839. It was heavily damaged in the 1886 earthquake and the facade was extensively rebuilt afterwards, with pressed metal window cornices.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


26 Broad St. c.1791

IMAGE--William Rouse, a shoemaker, built this building c. 1791. The facade was altered c. 1875.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


28 Broad St c.1791

IMAGE-- Built c. 1791 by William Shirtcliff, a merchant, this building shows evidence of a facade change, which occurred in 1800. ln that year James Gregorie, who owned both 30 and 32 Broad, leased the then vacant lot at 32 Broad to Stephen Thomas, who agreed to erect a three story brick building thereon. The agreement also permitted Gregorie to insert joists into Thomas' east wall, for the purpose of building two stories over an arched passageway between the two buildings. Although Gregorie matched the Charleston grey brick and Flemish bond of his existing buildlng, the juncture is discernible. The granite storefront on the first floor probably dates from c. 1840.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 12)


29 Broad St. c.1790

--George Macaulay and John Maynard Davis, merchants, built this building c. 1790. The elaborate mansard roof and the stucoo dripstones, however, are late 19th century.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


30 Broad St. c.1800

IMAGE--Stephen Thomas, a merchant tailor, made an agreement with the owner of this property, James Gregorie, to lease the lot and construct thereon a "brick house of three stories." The Federal period facade, typical of the year of construction, 1800, is of Charleston grey brick laid in Flemish bond. The gable roof has dormers on the front slope. Stephen Thomas was a leader of the Hugnenot Church congregation about this time. He is buried in the Huguenot Churchyard. In 1974, the rear part of this building was demolished and a new building was constructed behind the facade, for the expansion of First Federal Savings and Loan Association, whose main building is next door.
(Green, unpub. MS, HCF; News & Courier , Jan. 31, 1974; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 12)


31 Broad St. c.1792

-- William Lee, watchmaker, built here by December 1792, when he leased the building to Basil Pourie, merchant. The pressed metal cornice, window cornices and door surround are late 19th century.
(Green, unpub. MS, HCF)


32-34 Broad St. c.1962

IMAGE-- Thls substantial, marble-faced building with its recessed portico was constructed in 1962 for First Federal Savings and Loan Association.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


33 Broad St. c.1787

--John Smith, a merchant and mariner, built his house at 33 Broad during the transitional period when Georgian architecture began to be modified by the new Federal style. This three story brick building replaced a building destroyed by fire in 1786. The wooden Classic Revival storefront was probably added by James Gibson, who purchased the property in 1821.
(Stockton, DYKYC, Feb. 18, 1980; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 12; Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


35 Broad St. c.1792

-- Gilbert and John Davidson, merchants, built this three and one-half story, stuccoed brick building c. 1792. A distinctive featume is the palladian window in the oversized dormer, on the front slope of the hip roof.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 12)


36 Broad St. c.1803

-- Built c. l803 by George Keith, a master builder, this building has a facade dating from c. 1877.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


37 Broad St. c.1794

-- George Macaulay, a merchant, built this three story brick building c. 1794. The cantilevered cornice and window cornices were applied c. 1870.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF)


38 Broad St. c.1801

-- The State Bank of South Carolina was chartered at this location in 1801 and is presumed to have erected this building for its use. (There is a possibility it was built prior to that date by Dr. Philip Tidyman who sold the property to the State Bank for 4,000 pounds.) The State Bank was chartered as a private corporation, but the General Assembly elected three of the l5 directors, exchanged $300,000 in state bonds for an equal amount of the bank's $800,000 of stock, and required all state funds and public and court moneys of Charleston and Charleston District to be deposited in the State Bank. In 1816, the State Bank sold thls building and moved to larger quarters at present-day 28 Broad St. The victorian facade was apparently added soon after 1877 when the property was purchased by Edward Barnwell as trustee.
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Wallace, p. 372; Green, unpub. MS, SCHS; Lesesne, Bank of the State, passim)


39 Broad St. c.1891

-- The Exchange Banking and Trust Company constructed this building in 1891. Charles Otto Witte, the banks president, a native of Germany, immigrated to Charleston in 1847 and became a prominent merchant. Following the Civil War he went into banking, becoming in 1870 president of the People's National Bank, and later president of the Security Savings Bank. He was for 50 years a consul for German governments, first for the City of Hamburg, then for the North German Confederation and finally for the German Empire. He was also consul for Austria-Hungary and vice-consul for Swede and Norway. He was knighted in 1907 by the German emperor and decorated by the emperor of Austria and the king of Sweden. Witte lived at 172 Rutledge Ave. (now Ashley Hall School).
(Green, unpub. notes, HCF; Hemphill, 1:436-440)