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Title 92 Broad Street (David Ramsay House)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed before 1750; altered ca. 1816. This mid-18th century double-pile house was originally built for the Congregational merchant Solomon Legare or his daughter Mary and her husband Thomas Ellis. Around 1784, the physician, patriot, and historian Dr. David Ramsay and his wife Martha Laurens purchased the house; they spent the rest of their lives at this address. Ramsay was a native of Lancaster, PA, and graduate of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and the College of Philadelphia, where he received his medical training under the noted Dr. Benjamin Rush. Ramsay moved to Charleston in 1773 and served in the SC Assembly and later in the Continental Congress. Originally an opponent of slavery, he later came to accept the institution. He was most noted as the author of the first history of the American Revolution (1789) and an important history of South Carolina. His wife, daughter of the leading merchant Henry Laurens, was an important intellectual figure in Charleston in her own right. Martha died in 1811, while Dr. Ramsay was killed in 1815 by a patient whom he had determined to be insane. As in the case of other remaining large houses built before 1750, the floor plan is slightly asymmetrical with a rear stair hall and a front room reserved for business. Upstairs a front drawing room adjoins a smaller withdrawing room. The house retains much of its original woodwork including several fully paneled rooms. Originally a 2-story building with a front second-floor balcony, it was changed circa 1816-20 to 3 stories with a hip roof and a double-tiered front portico. A third story was added to the portico sometime after 1920.

Three files contain documentation of the easement on the property including related correspondence; Part I certification (National Register); easement appraisal report and IRS form 8283; research notes (chain-of-title); narrative histories; newspaper articles (DYKYC); description of furnishings (undated & unattributed); architectural analysis with drawings detailing interior architectural features; house history from Information for Guides of Historic Charleston; house history from Architectural Guide to Charleston (by Simons & Thomas); correspondence relating to disc sanding; measured plan of first floor (HABS drawing); photocopies of HABS photographs; floor plans (building survey).

The files will also eventually include annual inspection reports, requests for alterations, and correspondence and other documentation related to the management of the property.

See Easement Documentation Photo Files for easement donation photographs (Exh. B to Deed of Conservation Easement). No inspection photographs on file (see Easement Manager).
Subjects Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Search Terms Broad Street
Civic Square
Easement Property
Adaptive reuse
Physical Description 1 Gift Folder
1 Management Folder
1 History/Miscellaneous Folder
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Object ID # BROAD.092.001