City Directories and History: (The Pink Palace) The Orangeburg County Jail is one of the rare examples in South Carolina of Gothic castellated architecture. The fortress-like style is uniquely suited to the building’s primary function of confining prisoners. The Orangeburg County Jail was designed in 1857 by the prominent Charleston architectural firm of Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee. The architects drew on the 1840s English tradition of designing penal institution in a neo-Gothic style. Builder John Lucas, a local architect from England,
completed the jail in 1860. After General William T. Sherman’s troops burned the building in February 1865, Lucas was commissioned for repairs, restoring the exterior to its original appearance. The two-story rectangular structure has a five brick thick foundation gradually sloping into two brick thick walls. The exterior is covered with cement, a technique originally intended to give the effect of stone. The building’s horizontal lines are emphasized by a continuous string course the projecting foundation, and the continuous crenellations while its vertical lines are emphasized by the corner turrets, windows, and the main tower. The jail’s dominant central tower was the site of executions by hanging. Listed in the National Register October 2, 1973. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History] The original building was built at a cost of only $10,000.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.
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The building is reported to have cost $10,000. to originally construct and the interior was burned by Federal Troops in Feb. of 1865.
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