A National Historic Landmark designed by Robert Mills in the Palladian style, the Fireproof Building sitting at 100 Meeting St. has been named by Architectural Digest as one of the “15 Most Noteworthy Museums Opening This year.” Home to the South Carolina Historical Society, the building finds good company on a list including the Museum of Fine Arts in Malta, Scotland’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Mills’ famed Meeting Street structure was designed and built in the 1820s and was the first fireproof building ever built to protect documents. The building housed Charleston County offices and records until 1943, when it became the permanent home for the South Carolina Historical Society. Then, in 2014, the Society relocated its collection to
College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library.
This summer, the building, which has been renovated and redesigned as a museum and education center, will open to the public, showcasing the Society’s extensive history collection.
The museum will highlight major themes of South Carolina’s history, with exhibits focusing on The Life and Legacy of Robert Mills; Cultures Converge: Exploration and Settlement; Expanding Horizons: Moving to the Upcountry, Antebellum Life, Revolution; War and Reconstruction: Secession, Civil War, Reconstruction; Charleston Recovers: Natural Disasters, Charleston Renaissance Film; Celebrating Diversity: Art, Literature, Culture; and Only in South Carolina: Foodways, Conservation.
The Society’s outline for the museum says that the mission of the renovated space is to “tell the story of the entire state, reveal the important role South Carolina played in the nation’s past, include personal stories of all South Carolinians in all walks of life, and to create an exhibit that inspires visitors to learn more.”
Keep up to date on the museum’s progress by following the South Carolina Historical Society’s Facebook.