Andrew B. Murray Vocational School

Also known as: Old Murray Vocational School
3 Chisolm St., Charleston, South Carolina


Andrew B. Murray Vocational School, Right Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Andrew B. Murray Vocational School is historically significant as a representative example of school architecture in South Carolina. It is exceptional in that the site contains not only South Carolina’s first vocational school, but also a caretaker’s house and a gymnasium/shop. The complex exemplifies the importance placed on practical education in the first half of the twentieth century. As the white vocational school, the school also stands as an example of the segregated public school system in South Carolina in the years before the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. As a boys’ school that became coed in the mid 1930s, with differing curriculum for the different genders, it illustrates differences in the teaching of boys and girls at public schools in South Carolina. The Andrew B. Murray Vocational School, built in 1922 and opened in 1923, was designed in the Neo-Classical style by Charleston architect David B. Hyer. The school is a three-story U-shaped building covered with smooth stucco and with limestone detailing. The caretaker’s house (ca. 1922) is a small two-story brick residence set back from the street. Laid in stretcher (running) bond, the structure has a one-story porch running across the three bays of the first floor on the east (front) façade. This is the only remaining example of a school caretaker’s cottage remaining in the city. The two-story rectangular gymnasium/shop was constructed in 1948 of concrete block, faced with brick laid in a five course American bond. Listed in the National Register May 20, 2002. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 30, 2002
Reference number
NR name
Murray, Andrew B., Vocational School
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
School; Single dwelling
Current function
Multiple dwelling
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1923; 1950
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3

Update Log 

  • August 18, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 9, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"

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