“A Scottish merchant and planter built this, the most massive of all the buildings in Rainbow Row, after acquiring the site in 1792. A previous tenement belonging to the English merchant George Seaman was destroyed in the fire of 1778. James Gordon mentioned the property in his 1816 will as “my house and store on East Bay,” and it was sold by his executor, Charles Edmondston, in 1818 to Thomas Higham, who with his partner Charles Hubert owned 85 East Bay Street next door. The stucco brick house has its original fenestration and low hipped roof with corner quoining. Purchased by Susan Pringle Frost in 1920, the second-floor balcony and other changes were made by her prior to her sale of the house in 1955. Unlike the rest of Rainbow Row, the house largely retains its aged stucco finish.”
Information from: The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
The Strauss’ Restaurant was advertised at this address in 1882 as serving fine ales, wines and liquors. They also offered oysters in every style.
Other sources: Charleston Tax Payers of Charleston, SC in 1860-61, Dwelling Houses of Charleston by Alice R.H. Smith – 1917, Charleston 1861 Census Schedule, and a 1872 Bird’s Eye View of Charleston, S.C. The Hist. Charleston Foundation may also have additional data at: Past Perfect
Preservation Art at Work: Courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art: Rick Rhodes – photographer, Ronald Ramsey artist – preservationist, 2017. (For the last several decades, native Charlestonian Ronald Wayne Ramsey has focused on meticulously documenting historical buildings—particularly those slated for demolition—in his hometown. As old buildings in the historically-minded city become condemned and readied for demolition, he secrets himself inside and liberates various seemingly mundane objects from their impending destruction. Such objects, like hinges, shutter dogs, decorative ironwork, doorknobs, and other ubiquitous building artifacts gain new relevance once they become part of his salvaged collection, which traces architectural styles from Charleston’s rich architectural legacy. Along with these objects, Ramsey creates fastidiously detailed drawings of old building facades in the city. Text from the Ahead of the Wrecking Ball Exhibit – 2017)
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