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Meeting Street (43-99)

Photo: 59 Meeting St. c.1750

43 Meeting St. c.1799
-- James Mitchell, a cooper (maker of kegs etc.), built this three story stuccoed brick house on a high basement, sometime after purchasing the site in 1798. He sold it in 1818 to Henry Alexander DeSaussure. The gates are a 20th century addition. (Greene, unpub. MS, SCHS; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 73.)

47 Meeting St.
-- This two and one-half story antebellum house was for many years the home of Edward Barnwell, who is said to have added to the rear portion several times to accommodate his 17 children. Barnwell, a factor, planter and gardener, developed the lot to the south with fruits and vegetables and won several silver cups for his efforts there. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 73; N&C, April 6, 1958.)

48 Meeting St. c.1840
-- This large masonry house was built in the 1840s by Otis Mills, builder of the Mills House. ln the 1850s it was the home of James Adger, merchant and steamship line developer, reputed to have been the richest man in antebellum South Carolina. lt now houses First Baptist Church School. (Stockton, unpub. notes)

51 Meeting St. Nathaniel Russell House c.1808
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- The Nathaniel Russell House was built in 1808-11 by a Rhode lslander who made a large fortune as a merchant in Charleston. His house is one of the most outstanding Adamesque houses in America. The rectangular three story brick mansion with an octagonal wing on the south side is built of brick with white stone and wood trim. lt has a transomed entrance with an elliptical fanlight, a wrought iron balcony with the monogram of Russell, and a balustraded parapet. lt boasts a free flying staircase rising three floors without visible support, oval roorns, and fine Adamesque decorations. Russell's heirs sold the house to Gov. Robert Francis Withers Allston, who lived here while governor. ln 1870, his executors sold it to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Historic Charleston Foundation bought it in 1955 and has restored it as a house museum and the foundation's headquarters. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, pp. 142-156; Stockton DYKYC, June 16, 1975; Deas, Early Ironwork, pp. 78-79; Ravenel, Architects, pp. 151-155; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 73; N&C, April 6, 1958.)

52 Meeting St.
This one story frame building was the office of Dr. Edmund Ravenel (1797-1870). lt was given to the Historic Charleston Foundation in 1964 by Mrs. Ranson D. Hooker, in memory of her husband. (Stockton, DYKYC, July 18, 1977.)

54 Meeting St. c.1800
-- Timothy Ford built this three and one-half story brick house, on a raised basement, c. 1800. Ford, a native of New Jersey, was a prominent attorney. His house has some of the best Adamesque interiors in the city. lt was later the home of Dr. Edmund Ravenel, a physician and conchologist. The outbuilding in the rear is built on the foundations of an older structure. (Stockton, DYKYC, July 18, 1977; Fraser, Reminiscences, pp. 77-78; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 73; N&C, April 6, 1958.)

57 Meeting St. First Scots Presbyterian Church c.1814
 -- First (Scots) Presbyterian Church. The congregation was organized in 1731 by 12 Scottish families who withdrew from the lndependent Congregational Church and formed the "Scots Kirk." The first building was a frame one and stood in the southeast corner of the present Churchyard. lt was enlarged in 1763 and twice during the period, 1783-1808. The frame building was replaced by the present building in 1814. The massive stuccoed brick building has twin towers rising above a columned portico. The design was perhaps inspired by Benjamin H. Latrobe's Baltimor Cathedral, built a few years earlier. The church is the fifth oldest house of worship in the city. The seal of the Church of Scotland is in the window over the main entrance. Tablets on the walls include one to Lady Anne Murray, painted on wood. Silver and pewter tokens were formerly used for admission to communion. The churchyard contains more than 50 stones dating before 1800. The pattern of the wrought iron fence is almost identical with one at St. Paul's, Radcliffeborough, built about the same time. (Hamlin, Greek Revival, plate Vlll; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 74; N&C, April 6, 1958; Legerton, Historic Churches, pp. 60-61; Deas, Early Ironwork, pp. 90-91.)

58 Meeting St. William Harvey House c.1770
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- William Harvey House. This three and one-half story stuccoed brick building was erected by William Harvey, a Charlestown merchant, about 1770. During the late 19th century, the building was Victorianized and a storefront installed in the first level. The building was restored as a residence in 1982-83. (Stockton, unpub. MS)

59 Meeting St. Branford-Horry House c.1750
IMAGE -- Branford-Horry House. William Branford, a planter in St. Andrew's Parish, acquired the site by his marriage to Elizabeth Savage, "an agreeable young lady with a handsome fortune." The house was standing in 1767 when Branford died. The three story stuccoed brick double house has very fine Georgian interiors. The front piazza, built over the sidewalk, was added by Branford's grandson Elias Horry, c. 1830. The iron railings have the same pattern as those of the South Carolina Society Hall. Horry was a planter and president of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Co. when the railroad was the longest in the world. Subsequently, this was the home of architect Louis J. Barbot. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, pp. 104, 111-120; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 74; N&C, April 6, 1958; Stockton, DYKYC, Sept. 15, 1975; unpub. MS;Ravenel, Architects, p. 236.)

60 Meeting St. c.1771
-- This was a rather plain 18th century tenement, built by William Ellis c. 1771 (the eastern half of the double tenement is 64 Tradd St.). lt was remodeled in high Victorian taste by Bertram Kramer, a bridge and wharf builder and general contractor, c. 1893. (Stockton, DYKYC, Jan. 26, 1976; Whitelaw and Levkoff, p. 153.)

61 Meeting St. c.1750
-- This two story brick building was once the stable of the Branford-Horry House, 59 Meeting. lt was converted to a residence c. 1913. lt was subsequently the home of U.S. District Judge Waties Waring, whose decision that the Democratic primary election was open to black voters, was a landmark civil right case in 1947. (Stockton, unpub. MS; Rosen, Short History, pp. 146-147; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, p. 111.)

64 Meeting St. c.1788
-- This three story frame house was built by Andrew Hasell c. 1788-89. (Stockton, DYKYC, July 19, 1978; Burton, unpub. MS. CCL.)

65 Meeting St. c.1788

68 Meeting St. John Prioleau House c.1810
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This large stuccoed brick house was built c. 1810 by John Cordes Prioleau, a factor and planter. lt was remodeled in the 1890s by William Bachman Chisolm, a wealthy phosphate fertilizer manufacturer. Madam Rosalie Acelie Togno had her school here, 1855-62. lt was also the home of Dr. Charles U. Shepard, who after 1882 had his laboratory for analytical chemistry in a small building in the garden (now 8 Ropemaker's Lane). Dr. Shepard was famous for his tea farm at Summerville, where he grew tea commercially and for experimentation. (Stockton, unpub. MS; Rhett & Steele, pp. 34-35; Stoney, N&C, Dec. 20, 1948; Whitelaw & Levkoff, p. 115.)

69 Meeting St. c.1796
 -- This three and one-half story stuccoed brick house on a high basement was built between 1796 and 1800 by Dr. John Ernest Poyas, Jr., a physician. lt has fine Adamesque interiors.

72 Meeting St. South Carolina Society Hall c.1804
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Photo by Ron Anton Rocz. -- South Carolina Society Hall was built in 1804 and designed by Gabriel Manigault (1752-1809), the "gentleman architect" who was a member of the Society. The two story brick building, on a very high basement, stuccoed, is considered one of the city's most valuable Adamesque buildings. The meeting hall on the second floor has a small musician's gallery with lonic columns, in front of a Palladian window. The bold portico with Doric and lonic orders, was added in 1825 by architect Frederick Wesner. The lantern stands appear to date from the 1760s and were apparently salvaged from an earlier building. The South Carolina Society was organized in 1737, mainly by French Huguenots. lt was first called the "Two Bit club," as members agreed to contribute 15 pence ("two bits") a week to the relief of a Huguenot tavern owner. The Society later established schools for orphans and indigent children -- a Male Academy and a Female Academy -- which were in operation until the city established a public school system nearly a century later. The Society now donates scholarships to the College of Charleston. (Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 74; N&C, Apri 6, 1958; Deas, Early Ironwork, pp. 38-39; Rhett & Steele, pp.34-35; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys; Whitelaw & Levkoff, p. 40, Ravenel, Architects, pp. 59-61, 140, 143.)

76 Meeting St. Elihu Bay House c.1785
-- Judge Elihu Hall Bay House, built c. 1785, is a three story wooden single house. Judge Bay, native of Maryland, came to Charleston after the Spanish conquest of British West Florida, where he had a Royal land grant near the Mississippi River. Since 1942, this has been the rectory of St. Michael. (Ravenel, DYKYC, June 20, 1942; Nielsen, DYKYC, Nov 18, 1935; Stockton, unpub. notes; Stoney, This is Charleston, p. 75; Stoney, Charleston's Historic Houses, pp. 30-31.)

Post Office Park -- The Charleston Club, built on this site in 1853-54, a two story brick building with Corinthian columns and pediment, designed by Barbot & Seyle. The building was sold to the U.S. Government in 1869 for use as a Federal Court House, which it was until 1884. After the 1886 earthquake, in which it suffered heavy damage, the building was demolished. During the building of the present Post Office and Federal Court House, this area was used for storing building stones. The park was created in 1904. A wooden annex to the Post Office was built on part of it in the 1940s. The park was restored in 1964. (Ravenel, Architects, pp. 231, 233; Stockton, unpub. notes)

77 Meeting St. Charleston County Court House c.1789
 -- Charleston County Court House. The first South Carolina State House, built on this site in 1752, was destroyed by fire in 1788. This building was built on the same foundation, with the old walls and door ways retained. lt was rebuilt under the supervision of Judge William Drayton, the amateur architect. The exterior is reminiscent of Derby House in London, built c. 1775 by the Brothers Adam, which Drayton could have seen on a visit to London. lt is also similar to a design in James Gibbs' 1728 Book of Architecture. The design was disfigured somewhat by the raising of the third story height, in 1883-84. The building was completed in 1792, for use as the Charleston District Court House. The north extension, designed by David B. Hyer, was added in 1941. (Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, pp. 58, 63; Ravenel, Architects, pp. 71-73; Fraser, Reminiscences, pp. 97-101; Stockton, DYKYC, Feb. 14, 1977, Nov. 30, 1981; Mazyck & Waddell, illus. p. 8; Stoney This is Charleston, p. 75; Fant, The State House, pp. 7-8.)

79 Meeting St.

80 Meeting St. St. Michael's Church c.1761
 --To link to St. Michael's Church Home Page, with additional information about the church and its historic bells, click here . St. Michael's Protestant Episcopal Church. The oldest church edifice in the city and one of the finest Georgian churches in the United States, St. Michael's was begun in 1752 and completed in 1761. lt stands on the site originally occupied, from c. 1682 to 1727, by the first St. Philip's Church, a black cypress structure on a brick foundation. lt was taken down when the second St. Philip's was completed on Church Street. St. Philip's Parish was divided in 1751, with the lower half becoming St. Michael's. A Mr. Gibson (possibly Robert Gibson, Sr.) did the original design, but the design was so altered by Samuel Cardy, an lrish architect, that he deserved credit as the architect. The church is similar in respects to St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a London church designed by James Gibbs, including the division of hall, tower and portico. The construction of the steeple is considered a remarkable example of colonial ingenuity in timber framing and masonry construction, as is the coved ceiling which covers the hall without visible support. The clock and bells were imported from England in 1764. The bells were taken to England as prize of war by the British, but a London merchant purchased them and they were shipped back. During the Civil War, the bells were sent to Columbia for safe keeping, and were burned in the great fire there in 1865. However, the metal fragments were salvaged and sent to England to be recast and rehung. The bells have thus crossed the Atlantic five times. The steeple is 186 feet high, with a weathervane seven and one-half feet long. The tower sank eight inches as a result of the 1886 earthquake. The clock was electrified in 1946 as a memorial to those who died in World War ll. The communion rail of wrought iron dates from 1772 and was ordered from England. The mahogany paneled choir railings and gated pews are of native cedar. The octagonal pulpit with its massive canopie sounding board is original, and scars on its base are from a Federal shell which struck the church in 1863. The chandelier came from London in 1803 and the chancel chairs were purchased in 1817. Pew No. 43 was used by George Washington in 1791 and by Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1861. The original Snetzler organ was installed in 1768; the case and some pipes were reused when a new one was installed in 1911. The steeple was a fire lookout and alarm tower until the late 19th century. lt was an observation post in the Revolution, a signal station in the Civil War and an air raid siren station in World War ll. lt was painted black during the Civil War to provide a more difficult target for Federal shells. Gates to the church yard were made and signed by I.A.W. lusti. Eminent persons buried in the Churchyard include James L. Petigru, the Unionist, John Rutledge and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, signers of the Constitution. ln the southwest corner of the churchyard is the cypress "Bedstead Tombstone," of Mary Luyton, placed in 1770; it is not really a bedstead but a type of grave marker common in the 18th century. (Williams, St. Michaels, passim; Dalcho Historical Society, A Short History of the Diocese; Deas, Early Ironwork; lseley & Cauthen, Charleston lnteriors, p. 14; Whitelaw & Levkoff, pp. 40, 27; Rhett & Steel, pp. 36-37; Condit, American Building, p. 13, 30; Ravenel, Architects, pp. 29-34; Whiffen, American Architecture, lpp. 10-11; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, p. 58; Mazyck & Waddell, illus., p. 9; Legerton, Historic Churches, pp. 16-17; Severans, Southern Architecture, pp. 53-56; Stoney, This Is Charleston, p. 75, N&C, April 6, 1958.)