Looking at the North entrance to the Arcade
Below: The Dog Wagon, a Charleston institution closed in 1970
Late 1960s photos courtesy of Paul Bennington
|Charleston has always been a working
mans town. Unlike say... Marietta Ohio, who's beautiful town
has largely remained unchanged for 150 years, most buildings here
were erected without flourish due to the lack of space, and the need
to get into business quickly in order to capture the booming economy
of the day. We have very few buildings that are "architecturally
important". The Arcade was one of those buildings.
Built in 1895 using cast iron for much of the construction, especially
the glass roof supports which allowed natural light to filter through,
the Arcade had balconies on both sides of the two story atrium.
The walk-through ran from Virginia Street to the library. You
can just see the entrance in the photo above. Businesses lined
both sides of the atrium on two floors. While not what you might call
a "grandiose" building, it was never the less
an important landmark in downtown Charleston. Without much thought,
the building was torn down, and like the few important landmarks
we had, it became just another cold parking building.
Charleston has never really known what it wants to be.|
personal opinion is that the Job Corp next door was the final straw for
the Arcade. The Job Corp and the people hanging around it
constantly kept more and more people away from this area. The
Arcade was doomed.
These two interior shots of the Arcade
are from the turn of the Century.
The Last Days
On September 13, 1998, the Arcade was demolished
|Some of the Arcade was salvaged for the hotel next door that was supposed to be refurbished. This however never happened. The roof of the Arcade, a
series of iron trusses that once held a glass skylight, would form a
canopy over the new main entrance to the hotel.
In addition, some of the ornate cast iron columns would be used in a
new entryway of the hotel. So what happened to these pieces?|
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