Josiah Smith Tennent House

Also known as: Charleston Cotton Mills Office
729 E. Bay St, Charleston, South Carolina


Josiah Smith Tennent House, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Josiah Smith Tennent House is believed to have been built by Josiah Smith and Mary Ramsay Tennent circa 1859. The house is architecturally significant in part from its survival as one of only several remaining antebellum townhouses in this vicinity of downtown Charleston and as a modified, detached Charleston single house exemplary of the Greek Revival influence. The house is historically significant for its association with locally prominent individuals and for its commercial use. Tennent was a wealthy businessman and planter. In 1889, the house became the property of the Charleston Cotton Mills, who used the building as the superintendentís house, and possibly the company offices. As a mid-nineteenth century townhouse plan, the Tennent House illustrates modifications to the eighteenth and early-nineteenth century single house form. The house consists of the original four-story main block and of a circa 1950 two-story addition, which required the removal of the original piazzas, giving the building its appearance at the time of nomination. The original section of the house was T-shaped in form, with piazzas on three sides which made the overall configuration rectangular. Brickwork is American common bond on all facades except the front (east) which features Flemish bond. Listed in the National Register November 27, 1979. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 27, 1979
Reference number
NR name
Tennent, Josiah Smith, House
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Commerce; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1859

Update Log 

  • August 18, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 16, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Alternate Name", "Description" & "Street Views"
  • July 16, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller