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Powder Magazine in Charleston, SC

One of the most beautiful things about visiting Charleston is wandering through the city and seeing all of the landmarks that speak to the early days of America’s history. Charleston is rich in historical buildings and landmarks that not only show the evolution of the city, but also the evolution of America as a whole. The Charleston Powder Magazine is one of these landmarks. This building is a testament to the early days of the American Revolution and is a great place to visit during your vacation in Charleston!

History of the Powder Magazine in Charleston, SC

The Powder Magazine in Charleston is not just another historic building; it is actually the oldest public building in the entire state of South Carolina! Its history dates back to before America was founded, during the period of the Lords Proprietors. Although Charles Towne, as it was known, was a British colony, the land was contested by both the Spanish and the French and the fortification of the city was paramount. The Powder Magazine in Charleston was built in 1713 to store the city’s gunpowder reserves. When a newer magazine was built in 1748, this one was retired. However, after the American Revolution began, it was once again needed. After the war, it was used for various purposes until it was purchased in 1902 by the South Carolina Society of Colonial Dames, whose goal is to preserve this important landmark.

Architecture

The Charleston Powder Magazine building may appear unassuming at first glance, but every aspect of the architecture speaks to its purpose. The single-story, square structure features stucco brick walls that are nearly three feet thick at the base. The walls of the building all boast a large arch, and the walls get thinner as they move further up to the top. There are few doors to the building and it was originally designed with no windows. This was so, in case of explosion, the force would exit through the roof and hopefully minimize damage to surrounding structures and passersby. Sand was also stored in the roof to help smother the fires.

Visitor Information

History buffs will be delighted to visit the Powder Magazine in Charleston, SC. Inside the building is a museum featuring artifacts from early Charleston history, and a museum gift shop perfect for if you want to take home a souvenir. The museum and gift shop are open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. Admission is just $6 for adults and $3 for children, with discounts available for large groups.