“A Romanesque Revival style church overlooking the square since 1856.”
328 Meeting Street
City Directories and History: CITADEL SQUARE BAPTIST CHURCH
Constructed 1855-56; steeple restored 1990-91
“Formed in 1854 by twelve members from First Baptist Church who were eventually joined by members of the Wentworth Street Baptist Church in Ansonborough and the Morris Street Baptist Church in Radcliffeborough, this amalgamated congregation began construction of a new church building within a few months. Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee apparently designed the new Baptist church with a style referred to in the
Charleston Courier as “pure Norman,” following the Romanesque structures found particularly in France. Jones and Lee’s design predates the more famous work in this style by Henry Hobson Richardson. On the exterior a massive gable roof fronts Meeting Street with arched entries surmounted by elaborate Romanesque windows, the central one supporting a rose window. The 224-foot spire was toppled by the hurricane of 1885. Its replacement, a shorter, late-Victorian version of the earlier steeple, was in turn replaced following damage in Hurricane Hugo. In 1990 the congregation raised funds to restore the steeple to its original height, with some concessions on the design to incorporate the post-1885 work. In the interior, ribbed vaulting and plaster bosses decorate the ceilings and the pulpit area where an alcove was originally wainscoted in oak. The interior was formerly painted in an imitation of stone.”
Information from: The Buildings of Charleston – J.H. Poston – Author, for the Historic Charleston Foundation, 1997
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Jan. 21, 1891 – “Emma Abbott, the well known singer, has left a legacy in her estate of $5,000. for the Citadel Square Baptist Church.”
Enjoy additional historic images here: Civil War
Access information on numerous Charleston County and South Carolina churches, by clicking the highlighted S.C. Digital Library name.
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
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