Posted By Pattie Stratton @ Jul 10th 2023 12:00pm In: Blog

History of 3 Chisolm Street

The building at 3 Chisolm is one of Charleston’s great historical landmarks with a rich history. Opened in 1923 and located South of Broad in the heart of downtown Charleston, this Neoclassical building is across the street from a park fondly referred to as the “Horse Lot” and just steps away from Colonial Lake and The Battery. The building was listed on The National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Historic Charleston Foundation holds an easement on the property.  It is a fine example of an adaptive reuse project, as it was converted into condos in the early 2000's.

3 Chisolm Street was the original location of Andrew B. Murray Vocational School, one of the first of its kind. Murray actually grew up in the Charleston Orphan House. He went on to become one of the most influential and richest citizens in Charleston at the time, and served on the city council. He was well known for his philanthropic work, and had a life long desire to serve his community.  His passion to benefit others and to give back to his community inspired him to donate a large sum of money in order to build a school for young boys.

Designed and constructed by architect David B. Hyer, the Andrew B. Murray Vocational School at  3 Chisolm Street included the large neoclassical school building, a three story gym, and a caretaker’s cottage. 

It became a coed school in 1930, offering a different curriculum for the girls illustrating the differences between boys and girls education at the time. The school continued to operate until around 1970.

From 1970-1975, the site of 3 Chisolm temporarily served as the offices of Charleston’s school district until their main headquarters were completed on Calhoun Street. From 1975-2001, the site was mostly vacant but occasionally used by the US Coast Guard.

In the early 2000s, the previous vocational school was converted into 26 modern, contemporary condominiums. The restoration of the building received the Carolopolis Award from the Preservation Society of Charleston, which is given to recognize outstanding achievement in preservation, restoration, and rehabilitation.

The building offers a historic representation of school architecture, as well as the Neoclassical style of the time. The exterior of the building has remained almost identical to the original structure, with the stone features, fanlighted doorway, engraved columns. The building also kept many interior features like the old gym floors, large windows and architectural details,  preserving the historic fabric of the building. A beautiful courtyard, designed by Sheila Wertimer, was added to the back of the building. This private space, is shared only by residents of the building. 

The condominiums at 3 Chisolm Street are large  and bright with 11 ft+ ceilings and oversized windows. 

Maison currently has two units listed in this historic building. 

#104 listed by Leslie Turner has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and wraps around the courtyard, with 9 windows overlooking that beautiful space. Click the photo above to be taken to the website for this property. 

Unit 207 is listed by Mary Lou Wertz. It has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a sunroom with grand windows on three sides, and an outdoor terrace. Click on the above photo to be taken to the website for this property.

Reach out to them if you are interested in taking a look at either listing in this historic building!

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