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Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse
 
Charleston County Courthouse Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, February 12, 2010
1. Charleston County Courthouse Marker
 
Inscription.
Originally built in 1753 as statehouse
of British Royal Government

Partially destroyed by fire in 1788

Rebuilt in 1792 with third floor addition

Restored to 1792 appearance
in 2001 by Charleston County

 
Location. 32° 46.59′ N, 79° 55.884′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is at the intersection of Broad Street and Meeting Street, on the left when traveling east on Broad Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 84 Broad Street, Charleston SC 29401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Blake Tenements (a few steps from this marker); Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity (within shouting distance of this marker); This Building (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named County of Charleston Historic Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named County of Charleston Historic Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Gedney Main Howe, Jr (within shouting distance of this marker); City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Lucius Mendel Rivers (within shouting distance of this marker); St Michael's Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Charleston.
 
Charleston County Courthouse Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, February 12, 2010
2. Charleston County Courthouse
 

 
Additional comments.
1. Four Corners of Law
The Charleston County Courthouse sits at the intersection of Broad Street and Meeting Street in Charleston. It is one of four structures at this intersection commonly referred to as the "Four Corners of Law". St. Michael's Episcopal Church, built between 1752 and 1761, represents God's law. The Charleston County Courthouse, built in 1792, represents county law. The Charleston City Hall, built in 1802, represents city law. The U.S. Post Office and Court House, built in 1896, represents federal law.
    — Submitted February 13, 2010, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

2. Charleston County Courthouse
Originally built in 1753, the building was constructed as South Carolina’s first and only colonial statehouse, and included some material believed to have been imported from Great Britain. From 1756 to 1788, the Statehouse was the seat of the Royal British Governor, the Colonial Assembly and the central meeting place for South Carolina politics. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse

Struck by fire in 1788, the two-story Georgian Palladian-style structure was gutted just prior to South Carolina’s Convention for Ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
 
Charleston County Courthouse Photo, Click for full size
By Michael Sean Nix, February 12, 2010
3. Charleston County Courthouse
 
The foundation and some exterior and interior walls were saved and used in the restoration effort that started in 1790. Ironically, the fire came just after the state had decided in 1786 to move the capital to Columbia.

Although still in an unfinished state, the building was visited in the early 1790s by President George Washington as he searched for architectural examples he could use as a pattern for the White House. While in Charleston, Washington met James Hoban, who worked as a local professor of architecture. Hoban would become the architect of the original White House, built in 1792. White House architectural historians have theorized that Hoban’s work in South Carolina influenced his White House design, noting that “the similarity between the Charleston statehouse and the first design of the White House is too strong to dismiss.”

In December 1792, the United States District Court began meeting in the new building, marking the beginning of its use as a courthouse. Over the years, the Courthouse has housed the Sheriff for the District, Prothanotary, Register of Mesne Conveyance, Register in Equity, all courts for the District, Comptroller General, State Treasurer, Circuit Solicitor, Charleston Library Society, the Library of the Medical Society and the S.C. Bar Association.

The Historic Courthouse structure has undergone a variety of
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse<br>Broad Street (South) Facade Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, September 20, 2011
4. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse
Broad Street (South) Facade
 
alterations and additions over time. For example, in 1883 the main entrance was moved from Broad to Meeting Street, and in 1941 the building was doubled in size. The building survived, with damage, through the 1886 earthquake and then 1989’s Hurricane Hugo. Recent restoration efforts focused on returning the building to its original 1792 appearance in an effort to honor its judicial history and preserve its rich heritage for future generations.

(From a program flyer for the Grand Re-Opening of the Courthouse in 2001.)
    — Submitted February 13, 2010, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse<br>Broad Street (South) Facade Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, September 20, 2011
5. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse
Broad Street (South) Facade
 
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse<br>North Facade Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, September 20, 2011
6. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse
North Facade
 
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Meeting Street Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2011
7. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Meeting Street
 
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Broad Street Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2011
8. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Broad Street
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2010, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,451 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 13, 2010, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.   4, 5, 6. submitted on October 3, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on October 3, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
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