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“F” is for Fireproof Building (Charleston)

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“F” is for Fireproof Building (Charleston). Built to serve as the Charleston District Records Office, the Fireproof Building is often called the first building of fireproof construction in the United States. Designed by Robert Mills, it was among the first major projects he undertook after his appointment to the South Carolina Board of Public Works in 1820. Construction began in 1822 and was completed in 1827. Mills used non-combustible materials wherever possible. The window frames and sash are iron. Stylistically, the Greek-revival building is dominated by two monumental Doric porticos, each with a pediment and four columns on an arcaded basement. The building is built of brick finished in stucco and has a brownstone base. In 1955 the Fireproof Building was leased to the South Carolina Historical Society and in 1968 became the organization’s official headquarters.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.