Charleston Naval Hospital

National Register Listing
Street Address:
3600 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, SC (Charleston County)

NRHP Nomination


Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Charleston Naval Hospital is an eleven-story pre-cast concrete former Navy hospital designed in the Brutalist style with New Formalist elements. It is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as an excellent example of Modernism in North Charleston. The building, which was designed by the noted South Carolina-based architectural firm of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle, and Wolff and exemplifies stylistic patterns of Brutalism and New Formalism, is situated in an area characterized by mid-20th century traditional single-family homes. The imposing structure features a concrete-framed tower set atop a large brick base with recessed windows, showcasing a common character-defining features of Brutalism. Separating the concrete tower from the brick plinth is a New Formalist colonnade with a recessed glass curtain wall behind. The combination of Brutalism and New Formalism adds to the particular character of the building, and results in a local landmark that rises above the surrounding community. Following Modernist design principles, as well as the “Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture,” the Charleston Naval Hospital’s site contains landscape features that conveyed the monumentality of the property. The extended south lawn features concrete walkways with trees, shrubbery, and the L. Mendel Rivers Plaza. The period of significance for the building is 1970, the year in which construction began, to 1973, the year the hospital opened. The property contains a total of nine resources, including: the Charleston Naval Hospital (contributing); the L. Mendel Rivers Plaza (contributing); a mechanical outbuilding (contributing); the Naval Hospital Residential Building (noncontributing); the residential building’s basketball and tennis courts (noncontributing); a storage shed (noncontributing); and two guardhouses (noncontributing). Listed in the National Register January 25, 2021.
Period of Significance:
1970 – 1973
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
January 25 2021