South Carolina National Bank of Charleston

Also known as: Bank of Charleston
16 Broad St., Charleston, South Carolina


South Carolina National Bank of Charleston, Left Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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One of the most important buildings on South Carolina’s oldest commercial street, the South Carolina National Bank building is an integral part of Charleston’s Historic District. It was constructed in 1817 as the Office of Discount and Deposit of the Second Bank of the United States, whose charter was drawn up by John C. Calhoun. The bank provided international banking services, which enabled the transfer of South Carolina rice and cotton to European markets. It was the only bank in Charleston equipped to handle such transactions in this prosperous era. President Andrew Jackson later withdrew all government deposits, thereby destroying the bank. In 1836, when the Office of Discount and Deposit was liquidated, the Bank of Charleston purchased its property and assets including the building. The building’s exterior walls are masonry covered with stucco. Its roof is pitched with gables and a heavily molded cornice at the northern and southern ends. The south or main façade is divided into three bays with shallow recesses. A large gold leaf eagle adorns the gable and is the original 1817 ornament. All first floor windows are surmounted with semicircular heads. In 1855 the bank purchased the building to the east. In 1856 the original building was extended to the north. The Board of Directors’ Room, an architectural masterpiece, was added in 1856 and is believed to have been designed by Edward C. Jones, a well-known Charleston architect of the period. Listed in the National Register June 4, 1973. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1973
Reference number
Areas of significance
Commerce; Transportation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Financial institution
Current function
Financial institution
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1800-1824
Significant years
1817; 1856
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • January 26, 2016: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • August 19, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 28, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 28, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller

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