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Title Freedman's Cottages
Object Type Series
Scope & Content Freedman's cottages are small, 1-story dwellings with side piazzas, sometimes described by architectural historians as a subset of the Charleston single house. Indeed, they appear at first glance to be a 1-story version of this well-studied architectural type. Long associated with African-Americans, freedman's cottages have not been thoroughly studied for their architectural associations. Along with the shotgun house and praise house, the freedman's cottage may represent one of the only vernacular architectural types in America to be associated exclusively with African-American history. The floor plan of many freedman's cottages feature 1 room to either side of a central fireplace and chimney. Oriented with the gable end to the street, the cottages were originally entered through a piazza screen. Located along the piazza were 2 entrance doors, 1 going into each of the 2 principal rooms. Because of their small size, many freedman's cottages have been enlarged. Additions were usually placed to the rear, but in some instances, the piazzas were also enclosed. Freedman's cottages can be found throughout Charleston's historic district, but are concentrated in predominately African-American neighborhoods in the northern sections of Charleston's peninsula, including Elliottborough, Radcliffeborough and neighborhoods near and to the north of the Crosstown Expressway (Hwy. 17 South).

Subjects African Americans--Housing
Historic buildings
Vernacular architecture
Search Terms Freedman's cottage
Physical Description 3 document boxes (files, index cards, photographs)
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Object ID # 2007.001.10