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Citizens and Southern National Bank of South Carolina
Photograph by Lissa D'Aquisto, courtesy of City of Charleston

The Citizens and Southern National Bank of South Carolina is the second oldest building constructed as a bank in the United States and reflects Charleston's financial and institutional history, as well as commercial architecture of late 18th century. Constructed in 1798 for the Bank of South Carolina, the two-story building is T-shaped, with a pedimented projecting center pavilion and refined architectural details. Keystone arches, window lintels, and a belt course are all executed in white marble.

In 1802 the bank was the target of a inventive but unsuccessful robbery plot. A man by the name of Withers entered a drain near the bank, and began tunneling toward the bank's vault. He remained underground for three months as he dug, supplied with food and water by an accomplice who carelessly led to the plot's discovery.


Historic engraving of the Charleston Library, based on a photograph
Photo by Barnard, engraving by Photo. Eng. Co., NY

In 1835 the building was purchased by the Charleston Library Society , thought to be the third oldest library in the country. During their occupancy, the building was damaged by the 1886 earthquake and received a Victorian roof. After the Library Society relocated in 1914, the Charleston Chamber of Commerce purchased the building. In 1966 the building finally returned to its original use when purchased by the Citizens and Southern Bank. This institution removed the Victorian roof, renovated the interior and replicated the original iron fencing. Currently the bank building is used as a private office.

Citizens and Southern National Bank of South Carolina is located at 50 Broad St. The building is not open to the public.

 

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