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South Battery

Photo: South Battery streetscape

The street now called South Battery originally was a narrow street, running between Church Street Continued and Meeting Street, behind Broughton's Bastion. Known as Fort Street, it was depicted on the "Ichnography" of 1739. Fort Street was later extended to connect with a road behind the fortifications which became the High Battery. Still later, when William Gibbes and others cooperated to fill marshes along the Ashley River and constructed wharves and houses, a street running from Meeting Street to the Ashley River was created and called South Bay. It ended in a breakwater approximately where Lenwood Boulevard is today. After 1830, when the land east of King Street and south of South Bay was developed into White Point Garden, the park became generally known as The Battery, Fort Street was eliminated, and the street from East Battery to King Street became South Battery. West of King Street, the old name of South Bay continued to be used until after the creation of Murray Boulevard (1911-15). Now the name South Battery is applied for the full length of the street from East Battery to Tradd Street. ("Streets of Charleston." Fort Street file, City Archives; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 177ff, 207ff.)

2 South Battery c.1905
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  -- This stucco house was built c. 1905 for the O'Neill sisters - Mary J. O'Neill, Mrs. Elizabeth Pendergast and Mrs. Isabella O'Connor. The rear portion was part of the carriage house of 1 East Battery. (Stockton, DKTKC, Oct. 6, 1975.)

4 South Battery c.1892
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-- The Villa Marguerita was built in 1892-93 in the Italian Renaissance Revival style and was designed by F.P. Dinkelberg of New York. It was built by Maj. Andrew Simonds, president of the First National Bank and commodore of the Carolina Yacht Club, for his young New Orleans bride. It became a hotel called the Villa Marguerita in 1909. It is currently a private home. (Stockton, DYKYC, May 5, 1975; Rhett & Steele, 8-9; Whitelaw & Levkoff, 152; Stoney, This is Charleston, 95.)

8 South Battery Thomas Savage House c.1768
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 -- This large Georgian house was built c. 1768 by Thomas Savage. It was bought in 1785 by Col. William Washington, a Virginian and kinsman to the first President. According to tradition, Col. Washington met his future wife, Jane Elliott, when he stopped at her family plantation near Rantowles on his way to the Battle of Eutaw Springs. He had no flag for his command, so Miss Eliott made him one from a damask curtain. The banner, known as the Eutaw Flag, was presented to the Washington Light Infantry by Mrs. Washington. Col. and Mrs. Washington are buried in the Elliott family burial ground at Rantowles. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 187-190; Deas, Early Ironwork, 98-99; Maxyck & Wadell, illus. 50; Stoney, This is Charleston, 95.)

20 South Battery c.1843
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- This large mansion was built c. 1843 by Samuel N. Stevens, a prosperous factor, and remodeled and enlarged in 1870 for Col. Richard Lathers. The remodeling was designed by architect John Henry Devereux, in the Second Empire style. Col. Lathers, a native of Georgetown, S.C., went to New York in 1847 and became a millionaire as a cotton broker, banker, insurance executive and railroad director. After the war, in which he served in the Union forces, he returned to Charleston to help rebuild South Carolina. He invited military and political leaders from the North and South to receptions in his mansion, hoping to bring about a reconciliation. According to tradition, he gave up the attempt and returned to New York. He sold the mansion in 1874 to Andrew Simonds, a prominent local banker. The mansion is a private residence, with a small hotel in the basement and outbuildings. (Stockton, DYKYC, Nov. 10, 1975 and Sept. 14, 1981; Thomas, DYKYC, Oct. 20, 1969.)

22 South Battery c.1858
IMAGE: 22 and 24 South Battery
-- This Italianate house was built c. 1858 by Nathaniel Russell Middleton, a planter. (Stockton, DYKYC, Nov. 17, 1975.)

24 South Battery c.1790?
This house is the remaining western half of an 18th century double tenement. The eastern half was demolished by Nathaniel Russell Middleton for construction of his house at 22 South Battery. This half was remodeled in 1870 for George S. Cook, the noted photographer. The architect for the remodeling was John Henry Devereux. (Stockton, DYKYC, Nov. 9, 1981.)

26 South Battery c.1853
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Col. John Algernon Sydney Ashe had this house designed by architect Edward C. Jones and built by 1853. The house is in the Italian Villa style, characterized by arcades and bracketted cornices, and round-headed windows. The interior has several rooms with rounded corners, a curving stair with an oversized newel, and ornate plasterwork. Col. Ashe, a bachelor, was a son of Col. John Ashe who is credited with building the house at 32 South Battery. (Ravenel, Architects, 207-208; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 191-192; Stockton, DYKYC, March 31, 1975; Greene, unpub. notes; SCHS.)

28 South Battery c.1860
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 -- George S. Cook, the noted photographer, built his stuccoed brick villa c. 1860 as his home. (Stockton, unpub. notes.)

30 South Battery c.1860
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 -- James E. Spear built this three story Italianate house c. 1860 as his residence. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

32 South Battery c.1782
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- Col. John Ashe is believed to have built this large dwelling house c. 1782. The primary rooms have Regency period details. The exterior is characterized by the prominent cupola and two tiers of piazza across the front. The construction is attributed to a Mr. Miller, who singly and in partnership with John Fullerton, is credited with having built several fine residences in Charleston. (Ravenel, Architects, 40; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 190-191; Stoney, This is Charleston, 95.)

34 South Battery
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36, 38, 40 South Battery c.1889
IMAGE: 36 S. Battery 
| IMAGE: 38 S. Battery -- These three frame houses in the Colonial Revival style were built by Frederick Heinz, a prosperous German baker, confectioner, and ice cream manufacturer. He built no. 36 as his residence, c. 1889, and 38 and 40 as investments, c. 1895. Before bulding the houses, Heinz operated the Battery Ice Cream Garden on the premises. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

39 South Battery Moreland House c.1827
The Moreland House, built c. 1827, has woodwork similar to that of the Edmondston-Alston House, 21 East Battery. A floating foundation of palmetto logs make the house "earthquake proof." The second level of the piazza is an old addition. (Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 192-193; Stoney, This is Charleston, 95.)

42 South Battery
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44 South Battery
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46 South Battery
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47 South Battery c.1886
This house was built apparently by Henry C. Cheves, in 1886-87. Cheves was a rice broker and vice president of the Miners and Merchants Bank. From 1930 to 1946 it was owned by Princess Pignatelli, although it was occupied by her sister Lucille Booker. Born Henrietta Pollitzer at Bluffton, S.C., she married Edward V. Hartford, vice-president of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. After his death she married Prince Guido Pignatelli, of an Italian princely family. She bought the Joseph Manigault House when it was being sold for taxes and gave it to the Charleston Museum in memory of her mother. She died in 1948 and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS.)

48 South Battery c.1846
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-- Believed to have been built c. 1846, this substantial stuccoed brick house is an excellent example of the Greek revival, in the Charleston tradition. (Stoney, This is Charleston, 96.)

49 South Battery Col. James English House c.1795
This house is believed to have been built c. 1795 by Col. James English, and has been occupied by several generations of his descendants. An old sea wall remains across the rear of the property. (Stoney, N&C, March 6, 1960.)

50 South Battery c.1890
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-- Mr. and Mrs. Charles Drake built this wood and stone house c. 1890, in a style then prevailing in Washington, D.C., according to tradition. Drake was a partner in the Drake, Innnes, Green Co., a large wholesale firm on Meeting Street which dealt in shoes. The foundation, porte-cochere and piazza columns are of stone, while other portions of the exterior are paneled, shingled, and clapboarded. (Ravenel, DYKYC, Jan. 18, 1943.)

52 South Battery c.1899
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-- Benjamin Huger Rutledge, an attorney, built this large frame house, in the Colonial Revival style, c. 1899. Rutledge (1861-1925) was elected to the S.C. House in 1890 and served for many years as clerk of the judiciary committee of the Legislature. He was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and Yale College. (Stockton, unpub. MS.)

56 South Battery c.1780?
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-- This house is believed to be of post-Revolutionary construction. It was subsequently remodeled in a picturesque style, with notable ironwork. (Stoney, This is Charleston, 96.)

58 South Battery John Blake House c.1800
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-- John Blake, a Revolutionary Patriot and state senator, built this L-shaped, two and one-half story frame house about 1800. He obtained the site from his father Edward Blake, who with William Gibbes, Robert Mackenzie and George Kincaid cooperated to fill the marshes in this neighborhood. Imprisoned by the British during the Revolution, the younger Blake later was a factor and president of the Bank of the State of South Carolina. (Stockton, unpub. MS, DYKYC, April 27, 1981; Stoney, This is Charleston, 96.)

64 South Battery William Gibbes House c.1772
IMAGE: ON RIGHT -- William Gibbes, who with others cooperated to fill the neighborhood marshlands and who built a substantial "bridge" or wharf in front of this site, built this Georgian mansion sometime between 1772 and 1788. Gibbes, a merchant, shipowner and planter, died in 1789. In 1794 it was purchased by Sarah Smith, whose descendants including Thomas Smith Grimke, a lawyer, writer and inventor of simplified spelling, and the Rev. John Grimke Drayton, who was born Grimke and adopted his mother's name, Drayton, in order to inherit the Drayton ancestral seat, Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley. Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, widow of Washington A. Roebling (who with his father John August Roebling, designed and built the Brooklyn bridge in 1869-83) purchased the property in the 1920s and created the beautiful garden. The Smith family, about 1800, remodeled portions of the building in the Adamesque style, including the marble steps in the front. The combination of the two styles gives the house its architecturally rich appearance. The cove-ceilinged ballroom is considered one of the most beautiful rooms in America. The wrought iron balustrade and lantern standards in front are considered among the best ironwork of the Adamesque period in the city. (Deas, Early Ironwork, 64-69; Condit, American Building, 152-153; Stockton, DYKYC, Aug. 4, 1975; Stoney, This is Charleston, 96; Smith & Smith, Dwelling Houses, 209-211; Whitelaw and Levkoff, 95; Rogers, Charleston in the Age of the Pinckneys, 69.)

68 South Battery John Harth House c.1802
John Harth, a lumber mill owner and planter bought this site in December 1797. He lived in Archdale Street until 1802, when he was listed on South Bay. By 1816, when he sold the property to Thomas Legare, a planter, Harth had moved to Orangeburg District. It was purchased in 1843 by Henry A. Middleton, in whose family it remained until 1917, when it was purchased by William J. Pettus of Chevy Chase, Md. Middleton enlarged the house after 1843. Pettus created the notable garden on filled marshland. (Greene, unpub. MS; SCHS; Stoney, This is Charleston, 96.)