South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Fireproof Building, Charleston County (100 Meeting St., Charleston)
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Left Oblique
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(S.C. Historical Society) The Fireproof Building was the most fire protected building in the country at the time of its construction and is believed to be the oldest building of fireproof construction in the United States. This building was designed by Robert Mills (the first native American trained as an architect) and is very characteristic of his work. Both the high columnar portico raised on a basement arcade and the triple window treatment of the central window mass are typical of Mills’ work. The Fireproof Building is built of solid masonry in an avowed attempt to be fire resistant since Mills was intensely concerned for the safety of the public records housed in the building. The basement, porticoes, and cornices are of stone. The walls are of brick, stuccoed in imitation of the same. The design is in the simple Greek Doric style, without ornament, except that afforded by the porticoes which face each front. These porticoes are composed of four massy columns three-and-a-half feet in diameter, raised on an arcade; the columns rise the whole height of the building (comprising two stories) surmounted by their entablature, and crowned with a pediment. Listed in the National Register July 29, 1969; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 7, 1973.

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