18 Bull Street - Blacklock House


Holiday greetings are evident at the Blacklock House at 18 Bull Street. At the time of its construction in 1800, 18 Bull Street was considered more of a suburban retreat, as the area did not yet have much surrounding construction. As Charleston grew, houses sprang up in the area, but 18 Bull still stands out as a grand mansion in the area and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

William Blacklock, originally born in Scotland, became a wealthy shipping merchant in partnership with another Scot, Adam Tunno, in their business on East Bay Street. Both men, being of Scottish heritage, were very active in the St. Andrews Society here, originally a benevolent society and today on of Charleston's most prestigious social societies.

Blacklock's house is a fine example of the Federal style of architecture, especially in terms of the interior moldings. It appears that no expense was spared in the construction. The exterior brickwork is of Flemish bond (rows of header, stretcher, header, stretcher), which was costly because it required more labor. We have no documentation that Charleston's "gentleman architect," Gabriel Manigault, designed 18 Bull Street, but there are some that feel that Manigault was involved. Blacklock was a member of the building committee of the Branch Bank of the United States, completed around the same time as this house, and so would have had dealings with the architect Manigault who designed this building, now Charleston's City Hall at 80 Broad Street.

In 1971, the College of Charleston purchased 18 Bull Street. Since restoration, the house has been used as an event venue and houses the College's Alumni Affairs office. Today, 18 Bull Street can be rented as an event venue to those who have an affiliation with the College.

Next week we will continue to explore Charleston history through her places and people.