The Old Exchange Building in Charleston, South Carolina is considered one of the three most historically significant Colonial buildings in the United States. There was a meeting in May 12, 1788 to discuss the plan for the Constitution. This meeting was in the Old Exchange Building.
George Washington was welcomed to Charleston within the Great Hall at the Old Exchange Building. “It was the most impressive meeting room in Charleston. It is apparent from historical accounts of his visit that Charleston citizens loved their president and that George Washington thoroughly enjoyed himself during all of the festivities.” The Great Hall is now available for special occasions.
Beneath the Old Exchange Building is the Provost Dungeon, which played an important role in the history of Charleston (Charles Town), South Carolina. Constructed in 1781, the Dungeon, and the remaining floors of the Old Exchange Building, have survived hurricanes, earthquakes, and wars.
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The Old Exchange Building Timeline
- 1718 Stede Bonnet “the Gentleman Pirate” and crew are imprisoned on this site in the Court of Guard prior to their hanging
- 1771 The Royal Exchange and Custom House is completed.
- 1773 British tea is seized and stored in the Exchange cellars.
- 1774 South Carolina elects delegates to the First Continental Congress in the Great Hall.
- 1776 South Carolina drafts its first constitution and declares independence from Great Britain at the Exchange.
- 1780 General William Moultrie hides 10,000 pounds of gunpowder in the cellar of the Exchange.
- 1781 Colonel Isaac Hayne is imprisoned in the Exchange by the British for violation of his parole.
- 1788 South Carolina ratifies the U.S. Constitution in the Great Hall.
- 1791 George Washington is entertained at the Exchange several times during his Southern Tour.
- 1815 The Post Office moves into the Exchange.
- 1913 Congress deeds the Old Exchange to the South Carolina State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- 1965 The Half-Moon Battery portion of the city’s fortification is excavated beneath the cellar of the Exchange.
- 1966 The Provost Dungeon is opened for tours.
- 1976 The State of South Carolina leases the Exchange Building from the S.C. State Society of the D.A.R. preparatory to restoring the building.
- 1981 Restored and remodeled, the Old Exchange opens to the public.
Information and facts form the official Old Exchange Building website.