Last updated: February 15, 2018
- 84 Broad Street, Charleston, SC
- OPEN TO PUBLIC:
The original building burned during the Constitutional Ratification Convention of 1788, leaving only the foundation, walls and doorways. Anxious to retain their position in the new state government, Charlestonians quickly began reconstruction of the building in a Neoclassical style. Judge William Drayton, an amateur architect, supervised the construction, while James Hoban, architect of the White House may have assisted in its design. By the time of its completion in 1792, Columbia was firmly established as the capital city, and the building became a center for legal activity, housing circuit, state and federal courts as well as the sheriff's offices. A third story was used by the Charleston Library Society and Charleston Museum, the oldest museum in the country.
Major additions and changes occurred throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in insensitive alterations to the building. The courthouse was recently restored to its late 18th-century appearance, and still houses court and county government functions. It is one of more than 1400 historically significant buildings within the Charleston Old and Historic District.