Old City Jail

 

                        

I regularly drive/walk by a monument downtown that is never mentioned enough. This would be the Old City Jail. Some great events are held there, such as weddings and art festivals, and ghost tours also take place. I live right up the street, so I’m well acquainted with the building now.

The Old Jail building served as the Charleston County Jail from its construction in 1802 until 1939. In 1680, as the city of Charleston was being laid out, a four-acre square of land was set aside at this location for public use. In time a hospital, poor house, workhouse for runaway slaves, and this jail were built on the square. When the Jail was constructed in 1802 it consisted of four stories, topped with a two-story octagonal tower. Charleston architects Barbot & Seyle were responsible for 1855 alterations to the building, including a rear octagonal wing, expansions to the main building and the Romanesque Revival details.

During the Civil War, Confederate and Federal prisoners of war were incarcerated here. It is one of more than 1400 historically significant buildings within the Charleston Old and Historic District.

Now, it is used by the American College of the Building Arts, who also host some neat events there.

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