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Title 69 Church Street (Capers-Motte House)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed ca. 1750; altered early-19th century; additional restorations 1971. One of the largest pre-Revolutionary houses in the city, this dwelling has been the home of several notable South Carolinians. Both Richard Capers and Jordan Roche owned the property successively, and one of them was responsible for the mid-18th century construction on the site. Roche's niece, Rebecca Brewton Motte, with her husband, the public treasurer Jacob Motte, leased the house from 1761 until the death of the latter in 1770. The structure is an unusually large form of the pre-Revolutionary double house with 3 full floors, excavated cellar, and spacious garret. In the early-1800s a subsequent owner closed the front door, converted the front rooms to a 19th century double parlor, and added piazzas on the south elevation. Later the surviving outbuildings were renovated in the Gothic Revival style. In 1869 the widow Eliza Middleton Huger Smith (Mrs. William Mason Smith) purchased the property. A daughter of Sen. Daniel Elliott Huger of 34 Meeting Street, Mrs. Smith's plantation house at Smithfield, in St. Bartholomew's Parish south of the city, was burned by Sherman's troops in 1865. Her granddaughter, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, became Charleston's first chronicler of the city's architecture and is one of the most celebrated artists of the early-20th century Charleston Renaissance. After Miss Smith's death in 1958, 69 Church Street passed out of the Smith family. A subsequent owner removed the piazzas and restored a conjectural central entrance door to the street elevation in 1971.

Files contain documentation of the easement on the property including related correspondence and Confirmation of Understanding (unsigned); Part I certification (National Register) (cover page); annual inspection reports, requests for alterations, and correspondence related to the management of the property; BAR application (8/2000); FOHG house history (various dates) including description of the garden; other narrative histories (extensive); newspaper articles (including DYKYC); house history from Information for Guides of Historic Charleston; historical/chain-of-title research information; Sanborn maps; household inventory (ca. 1776-1784); relevant pages from books Dwelling Houses of Charleston, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith of Charleston, and Charleston Gardens; copies of HABS photos

See Easement Documentation Photo Files for easement donation photographs (Exh. B to Deed of Conservation Easement) and Covenant/Easement Inspection Photo Files for inspection photography.
Subjects Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Search Terms Church Street
Easement Property
Walled City
Physical Description 1 Gift Folder
1 Management Folder
1 History/Miscellaneous Folder
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Object ID # CHURCH.069.1