60 Broad Street
“Charlestonians and others help build a massive widows and orphans sanctuary in the heart of the old city.”
City Directories and History: Constructed circa 1800; additions circa 1835, circa 1900-10; earthquake repairs 1887
“This large complex stretches through the block from Broad Street to Chalmers Street and is a nineteenth-century amalgamation of several different properties and buildings. On the site of a house formerly leased to a royal lieutenant governor the core of the front portion was built by Gilbert Chalmers, a well-to-do house carpenter, as a double tenement. Inherited by Chalmers’s daughter and her husband, Gov. John Geddes of Ashley Hall Plantation, the building housed President James Monroe when
he spent several weeks in Charleston in 1819. Forced by debt to sell, Geddes conveyed this building in 1825. By 1834 the Geddes House had passed to Angus Stewart, who converted it to the Carolina Hotel. Subsequent additions to the rear were later connected to an early-nineteenth- century tenement at 23-25 Chalmers Street, the western side of which had served as the U.S. District Court from 1845 to 1860. It was here at the time of South Carolina’s secession from the Union that District Judge Andrew G. Magrath (later Gov. Andrew G. Magrath), took off his robes and suspended the Federal Court in South Carolina. An early 19th century doctor’s office, adapted to modern office use and almost entirely reconstructed after Hurricane Hugo, stands on the southeastern edge of the site at 66 Broad Street.
In 1867 the entire property was leased to Mrs. Amarinthea Yates Snowden and a group of nine women, who organized the Home for Mothers, Widows and Daughters of Confederate Soldiers of Charleston. By 1880 the home housed several hundred aged or infirm widows and a teacher’s college for fifty-two women. After heavy damage in the earthquake of 1886, repairs were completed and the Broad Street facade was remodeled in the Second Empire style with a mansard slate roof and pressed metal dormers and cornices. Of particular interest from the street are the original wrought-iron balconies on the second floor and the mid-nineteenth-century storefronts below.”
Information from: The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
In 2015, R&R’s co-founder, Wade B. Fairey was given the opportunity to tour the Confederate Widows and Orphans facility and explore the history of the fascinating complex of 19th and 20th century buildings.
The Confederate Home is a retirement home located in an early 19th-century building at 60 Broad St., Charleston, South Carolina. The building started as a double tenement in about 1800, built for master builder Gilbert Chalmers. From 1834 to 1867, it was operated as the Carolina Hotel by Angus Stewart. In 1867, sisters Mary Amarinthia Snowden and Isabell S. Snowden established the Home for the Mothers, Widows, and Daughters of Confederate Soldiers (the Confederate Home) and operated their housing program at the house. The Confederate Home bought the property outright in 1874. When the building was damaged by the 1886 Charleston earthquake, it was restored with Victorian details including mansard roof and dormers.
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