4 Logan Street is the grand antebellum house between Tradd and Broad Streets. (The Latin "ante bellum" means "before the war"; in Charleston and throughout the South, the word antebellum specifically refers to the period before the Civil War.) Built in 1852, 4 Logan survived the last great Charleston fire in December 1861, which ravaged Charleston almost a year to the date of South Carolina's secession from the Union on December 20, 1860.
The house was built by Judge Edward Frost for one of his sons and was passed down through the Frost family until the latter part of the twentieth century. At one point in the early twentieth century, the home was inhabited by Judge Frost's granddaughter Susan Pringle Frost, the founder of the Preservation Society of Charleston, a dedicated suffragette, and the first woman realtor in Charleston.
Logan Street is one of those streets that you'll find by exploring the area south of Broad Street. The best way to view 4 Logan is to begin your journey from the upper end of Tradd Street (near the Ashley River) and turn left on Logan. 4 Logan is the first house on the right and is striking with its cascading marble staircase. The scored stucco over brick is weatherworn enough to give the façade the kind of aged patina that I appreciate. After all, I think that historic houses should age gracefully.
I personally became acquainted with this end of Logan Street in September of 1989. I was living one street over, renting the bottom of a house, when Hurricane Hugo became forming in the Atlantic Ocean. When it was evident that Charleston would take a direct hit from the hurricane, I didn't feel I needed to leave town, but I also didn't think it would be wise to spend the night alone. So, I called up the people who lived one block over at 9 Logan Street and asked if I could spend the night at their house if they were staying during the hurricane. I was only acquainted with the family casually because we attended the same church; I certainly did not know them well enough to invite myself for a visit, much less to spend the night. I am living proof that hurricanes, especially Category 4 hurricanes, make people do funny things.
The good news for me is that the Wilsons were hospitable and welcomed me to spend the night. I ended up staying 14 nights and 14 days. We became like family, and I still eat Christmas Dinner with them each year. Whenever I have a small tour group around upper Tradd Street, it's easy to point out 4 Logan and talk about spending the hurricane across the street.
If you look from 4 Logan to the corner of Tradd Street, you'll see a garden that belongs to a house at 128 Tradd. This house will be next week's visit as we wander along Tradd Street for the next several posts. Still "all in the family," 128 Tradd is where Judge Edward Frost lived while building 4 Logan for his son.