The jail, built in 1802 was part of Charleston set aside for public use in 1680. The use was this jail, a poor house, hospital, and work house for run away slaves. The jail was used for many different things including an asylum.
These are photographs from the third floor where previously I was told an asylum was added to the prison. It might have been the fourth floor, the top of this building, which was removed after the great Charleston earthquake.
A terrible place for anyone in general, if they were actually ill locking them in a brutal prison was a really bad idea.
Like many buildings of it’s time an air shaft, in the center, provided circulation (I was raised in NYC in a small 1800’s apartment. My bedroom window was exactly this view…without bars).
Large open rooms covered much of this floor.
Above is what you see as you climb the stairs to the top floor. There is a lot of old furniture and woodwork in the basement. Perhaps the antique wheelchair came from there. I do know it’s the perfect prop for the asylum.
Above is one of the series of doors leading to the various rooms. The first door was wood, when opened you find the second of steel bars. A guard could look on both sides of the door through steel bars using the slightly curved center seen here. There were to be no surprises opening doors in the jail.
Note; The old Charleston Jail is being renovated to be used for commercial purposes. A small group was invited to visit and photograph the historical site before it is gone. This is part of that project.