The State House, from an 1855 stereoscopic print. The original State House of 1794 had deteriorated so badly by 1850 that Governor Seabrook was afraid the state's records were no longer safe there. The General Assembly, rather than build a fireproof building just for records, recommended a fireproof northern wing of a completely new State House. Construction started immediately. In 1854, the General Assembly appropriated $50,000 for the capitol, to be built under the supervision of the state architect, P.H. Hammerskold. During 1854, the old State House was moved slightly to make room for the new. Since an additional $259,000 was needed, the state floated a bond issue, the first of a series of bond issues to raise the funds necessary to complete the structure. It was also discovered in 1854 that the work already done was inferior. Mr. Hammerskold was fired, and John R. Niersee was engaged. Eventually, the State House was completed, largely according to Niersee's design, except for the substitution by a later architect of the dome for Niersee's rectangular tower.
Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
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