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Title 6 Archdale Street (Unitarian Church)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed 1772-87; remodeled 1852. Francis D. Lee, architect. Construction of the Unitarian Church was halted for the duration of the British occupation of Charleston during the American Revolution. Begun in 1772, it was finally dedicated in 1787 and was called the Second Independent Church. It was born out of the Independent Congregational Church at the White Meeting House. A Unitarian minister, Reverend Anthony Forster, was the first pastor of the newly chartered Second Independent Church in 1817, and his successor, Dr. Samuel Gilman, served from 1819-1858. His wife Caroline laid out the gardens on the south side of the church, which today, with many old varieties of plants, are intermixed with later gravestones in a portion of the cemetery and dominated by a Gothic monument to the Gilmans. The graveyard connects to King Street and then Meeting Street via the Gateway garden walk. The church was rechartered as the first Unitarian church in the South in 1839 and was remodeled into its present perpendicular Gothic style in 1852. The architect Francis D. Lee designed a new tower on the west end and a chancel at the east end. A prevailing respect for the old structure encouraged the retention of elements from the original building, while Lee added loftier details to the edifice. Inspired by the Chapel of Henry VII at Westminster, Lee added the decorative fan vaulting of plaster which adorns the interior and also added buttresses to the building and changed the fenestration to reflect the Gothic style. The church suffered extensive damage during the earthquake of 1886; while the interior was repaired, surviving ornamentation on the tower was stripped away.

Address is also noted as 8 Archdale Street.

File contains FOH building history; newspaper articles (including DYKYC); history by Mary Maxine Larisey (1972); National Register Nomination Form; presentation "Unitarian Church Renovation" (by The Ways of Wood, 2010).
Subjects Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Church buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Unitarian Church (Charleston, S.C.)
Search Terms Archdale Street
National Register of Historic Places
Physical Description 1 File Folder
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Object ID # ARCHDALE.006.001