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Chalmers Castle: 1937

Chalmers Castle: 1937

1937. Charleston, South Carolina. "Old Armory, 8 Chalmers Street. Original structure dates to 1851. Deutschen Feuer Kompagnie until merged with city fire department, then Engine House No. 1 by 1881; Carolina Light Infantry armory until 1907; then Good Samaritan Hall and Embry Mission. Abuts Old Slave Market." 8x10 acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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"Chalmers Castle," as Dave strikingly calls this building, has been designed by Architect Edward C. Jones, read more about the Charleston Historic and Former Firehouses.

As the structure dates to 1851, I wonder why 1872 is the date that is to be seen on the building. I cannot relate the year to the years mentioned in the caption (by Frances Benjamin Johnston, I suppose) either.
Apart from that, I tried to find out what sign and text are written on the gable, they are perhaps related to the year 1872?
But, as the picture is taken in 1937, I suppose they all have something to do with the African American charitable organizations "Good Samaritan Hall" or the "Embry Mission," who were the most recent users of the building until then.

Slave market

Yes that's an Old Slave Market. It's now a museum. Technically it was an auction house that sold anything that came off a ship including slaves. It was renamed "Old Slave Market" by the time this picture was taken.

Slave market

The bldg. to the immediate right of Charmers Castle seems to read "Old Slave Market". Am I reading that correctly?

[Now try the caption. -tterrace]

Decrenellate indeed

I suspect the architecture took a back seat to safety, given the massive crack already in it by 1937. Or it decrenallated itself.

Gas fixture

Is that what the metal hooked pipe over the front door is?

What is it used for today?

I confess

I had to look it up. That's why I haunt Shorpy--to learn stuff.

Of course it's still there

They don't tend to demolish old buildings in Charleston.

[Maybe they don't demolish, but they do decrenellate. -Dave]

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