Historic Charleston Foundation logo

images banner
images banner small

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title 116 Broad Street (John Rutledge House)
Object Type Property File
Scope & Content Constructed ca. 1763; altered ca. 1853, 1890; rehabilitated 1988-89. When constructed, this building had a Georgian facade that lacked the ornate ironwork and Greek Revival details employed in the design today. John Rutledge, "Dictator" and governor of South Carolina during the Revolution, built this house before 1770 for his wife Elizabeth Grimké. Rutledge went on to serve as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and held a brief, unconfirmed term as chief justice before illness hastened his demise in 1800. The house passed through a number of different owners from the 1790 until 1835, when it served briefly as the last residence of Charleston's first Roman Catholic bishop, Rev. John England. Thomas Norman Gadsden, a wealthy slave trader, was responsible for the renovations of the Rutledge House in 1853 and added terra cotta window lintels to the exterior as well as the intricate cast-ironwork, utilizing P.H. Hammarskold as his architect. Hammarskold, a native of Sweden, was then working on the new statehouse in Columbia. The cast-ironwork, executed by Charleston's German-born blacksmith Christopher Werner, includes palmetto and eagle designs in the end columns as well as acanthus and anthemion motifs popular in the late-Greek Revival period. In the late 19th century, the house served as the residence of Mayor R. Goodwin Rhett. Supposedly, Rhett entertained President William Howard Taft here during his visit in 1909, and William Deas, the butler, introduced his famous she-crab soup at this time.

File contains FOHG house history (1995); newspaper articles (including DYKYC); copy of photograph of building presumably under renovation (scaffolding present); house history from CCPL Multimedia Project Guidebook (website); National Register Nomination Form; narrative history from "A Brief History of U.S. District Courthouses in South Carolina."
Subjects Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Search Terms Broad Street
Eighteenth-Century Expansion
Inns
National Register of Historic Places
Physical Description 1 File Folder
Related Records Show Related Records...
Object ID # BROAD.116.001