Farmers' and Exchange Bank

141 E. Bay St., Charleston, South Carolina


Farmers' & Exchange Bank

1. Historic American Buildings Survey, Louis I. Schwartz, Photographer July, 1958 EXTERIOR, FRONT VIEW.

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


A mid-nineteenth-century commercial building of exceptional architectural interest. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-268)

The building was designed by Edward C. Jones and Francis D. Lee in 1853 and was completed in 1854. Both of these architects were Charlestonians. The Farmers’ and Exchange Bank is perhaps the only example of the Moorish picturesque style that evolved from one aspect of English Regency architecture. The building is stucco on brick and brownstone, with a flat roof, a two-story Moorish arcaded façade, and a high skylighted banking room with elaborate plaster decoration employing Spanish and Moorish motifs. The building has rounded horseshoe arches, reminiscent of Spanish architecture, on a façade made of pale Jersey and somber Connecticut brownstone, producing the striped effect which is typical of many Moorish structures. The rear wing has the conventional Classical Revival style. This building has long been recognized to be of utmost importance to American architecture and its design is though to have been influenced by illustrations in Washington Irving’s The Alhambra, a volume which was published about the same time that the building was constructed. Listed in the National Register November 7, 1973; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 7, 1973. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1973
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Moorish Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Financial institution
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1853; 1854

Update Log 

  • July 15, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Corrected "GPS Coordinates" and Added "Street View" & "Description"
  • July 15, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller

Related landmarks