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

Old Marine Hospital, Charleston County (20 Franklin St., Charleston)
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Facade Left Oblique Right Oblique Rear Elevation Main Entrance
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Window Detail

Robert Mills, the well-known federal architect, created a structure of charm and delicacy in Charleston’s Marine Hospital. The structure, constructed ca. 1833, is two stories above a raised basement. The roof is hipped and a double-tiered porch is located over an arcaded basement. The fašade is seven bays wide. The subtle Gothic style with the token pointed arches, pointed windows, and the clustered columns, then was considered a fitting kind of environment for hospitals, which were associated with medieval monasteries. Even the double-tiered porch railing follows a medieval motif. The main entrance door has large fanlight and sidelights. The porticoes were an adaptation to climate and acted as weather controls. The building was originally double its present size, with two long wings projecting from the rear. These were removed because of extensive fire damage before the building was restored. Mills erected a number of marine hospitals around the country on much the same plan. They were established to take care of grounded seamen who became public charges. Listed in the National Register November 7, 1973; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 7, 1973.

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