St. Michael's Episcopal Church
History and museums
St. Michael's Church is an historic church and the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston, South Carolina. It is located at Broad and Meeting streets on one of the Four Corners of Law, and represents ecclesiastical law. It was built in the 1750s by order of the South Carolina Assembly. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.
St. Michael's Church was built between 1751 and 1761 at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets on the site of the original wooden church built in 1681 by St. Philip's Church, It had been damaged in a hurricane in 1710 and a new St. Philip's Church was built several blocks away on Church Street. In 1727, what was left of the old wooden church was demolished.
It is not known who designed St. Michael's, but it shows the influence of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, designed in the 1720s by James Gibbs. Samuel Cardy was the builder. The walls are of brick that was stuccoed over and painted white. The two-story portico facing Broad Street was the first of its size in colonial America and features Tuscan columns.
An organ by John Snetzler was fitted in 1768 but only the case remains; new organ 1994 by Kenneth Jones of Bray, Ireland.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, and it was included in the first promulgation of the National Register in 1966.
St. Michael's Churchyard, adjacent to the church is the resting place of some famous historical figures, including two signers of the Constitution of the United States.
The church houses a clock and change ringing bells dating from colonial times, The clock is the oldest tower clock in North America. The bells are one of four sets (Grace Episcopal, The Cathedral of Saint Luke and Saint Paul and Stella Maris Catholic church) in the Charleston area.