Landmarks Charleston

The towering 182-foot spire of the Circular Congregational Church is shown in this pre-Civil War photograph. The church, ¬†designed by famed Charleston architect Robert Mills, was a domed structure when finished in 1804, and the steeple was eventually added in the 1830’s. It was the second largest domed structure in America behind the US Capitol, and a marvel of engineering with a truss-supported roof. The church stood majestically next to South Carolina Institute Hall to its right in the picture. Institute Hall, designed by Charleston architects Edward Jones and Francis Lee, and was the largest public hall in the state when finished in 1854 where South Carolina delegates were the first to sign articles of Secession breaking from the Union in December 1860. A year later, both would be in ashes after a devastating fire swept through the city in 1861.¬†<img src=”Circular Congregational Church” alt=”Charleston Churches”>

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