Bethel Methodist Church

57 Pitt St., Charleston, South Carolina


Historic American Buildings Survey, C.O. Greene, Photographer May, 1940.

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey


Street View 


Bethel Methodist Church (built 1853-1854), located on the site of Charleston’s first Methodist church building, is an exceptional example of antebellum Greek Revival ecclesiastical architecture. Except for the rather steeply pitched roof, the church is one of the better examples of Greek Doric temple architecture in the state. Of stuccoed brick painted white, the building has a massive, giant-order hexastyle Doric portico with a simple Doric pediment and entablature. Designed by a Mr. Curtis, Bethel Church has pilastered walls, and there is one tier of large windows on each side of the structure; the building has a gabled roof and a main entrance which is pedimented with consoles. The roof is more steeply pitched than is usual in a Doric temple to allow rainwater to drain more quickly, thus helping to eliminate the possibility of leaks. The portico withstood the 1886 earthquake intact and stands today unaltered. The auditorium-plan interior has a cove ceiling. The church has a cemetery with crepe myrtles on the north side. Listed in the National Register November 20, 1974. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1974
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
Significant years
1853; 1854

Update Log 

  • July 10, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 10, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • July 7, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER

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