Jackson Street Freedman’s Cottages

National Register Listing
Street Address:
193-199 Jackson Street, Charleston, SC (Charleston County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Jackson Street cottages are a set of four single-story structures, built in a form that is known locally as a “Freedman’s Cottage.” The buildings are timber-framed with a rectangular shaped plan, gable roofs, and a piazza. The walls were originally finished with wood clapboards, while the roof was sheathed with corrugated metal cladding. The chimneys and foundation are constructed with brick masonry. Typical of other Charleston architecture, and reminiscent especially of the single house, the piazza includes a screen door, which acts as the street entry for the buildings. The Jackson Street cottages were built in the early 1890s to accommodate working class families during urban expansion onto Charleston’s northern peninsula. The retention of historic materials and setting, particularly the fact that the cottages remained clustered as a group, means that these cottages retain a higher degree of integrity than other examples of this architectural type in Charleston. The origin of the term “Freedmen’s Cottage” in common local parlance is unclear, but it would seem to derive from the belief that these modest dwellings had their origins as homes for recently emancipated slaves in the late nineteenth century. Current research, including on the tenants of the cottages on Jackson Street, does not necessarily support this idea. Instead, it suggests that these dwellings were a response to housing needs and land pressures as the Charleston population grew and expanded north on the Charleston peninsula in the late nineteenth century. The cottages are locally significant to Charleston’s socially history for the story that they tell about residential development in Charleston during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection of buildings is also architecturally significant as an intact grouping of an example of an architectural vernacular based on the Charleston single house. Listed in the National Register June 5, 2017.
Period of Significance:
circa 1890 – 1967
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Architecture;Social History
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
June 5 2017