Cigar Factory

Also known as: Charleston Manufacturing Company, Charleston Cotton Company
Block bounded by East Bay, Columbus, Blake and Drake Sts., Charleston, South Carolina


Cigar Factory, Rear Elevation

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Cigar Factory is significant as a largely intact example of a late nineteenth century industrial plant built in the Victorian commercial style. Also important for its contributions to Charleston’s economy from post-Reconstruction through the Great Depression and on into the 1970s, the firm was incorporated as the Charleston Manufacturing Company in 1880 and has been in operation since construction of the building was completed in 1882. Originally built as a textile factory, the building became locally known as the Cigar Factory when the American Cigar Company purchased the property in 1912. The main building is five stories of brick in common bond with a flat metal roof, and central six-story brick water tower, which also houses an elevator. Immediately adjacent to the water tower is a four-story masonry addition without windows, which was part of the cooling and dehumidifying system added during the Cigar Factory period (1912-1973). The property also includes a ca. 1885 two-story brick addition, a two-story brick office building used originally as the picker house, two two-story brick engine houses, and a one-story brick boiler house. The boiler house also has an associated five-story brick chimney. The building is also one of the few surviving large-scale industrial buildings from the Victorian era in Charleston. Listed in the National Register November 25, 1980. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1980
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Manufacturing facility
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1882
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 4
Contributing structures: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • January 22, 2016: Updated by Michael Miller: Corrected "GPS Coordinates"
  • August 18, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 14, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 14, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller