"F" is for the Farmers' and Exchange Bank (Charleston)

Oct 8, 2020

Credit SC Public Radio

"F" is for the Farmers’ and Exchange Bank (Charleston). The Farmers’ and Exchange Bank is among the finest examples of the Moorish-revival style in the United States. The Moorish-revival style was the most flamboyant of the nineteenth-century exotic architectural revivals. The Farmers’ and Exchange Bank was one of several bank buildings designed by the Charleston architectural firm of Jones and Lee in the mid-1850s.The two-story façade is clad in mottled New Jersey and Connecticut brownstone. Its exuberant ornamentation included rounded horseshoe arches and Eastern-inspired decorative motifs. On the interior a paved vestibule leads to the large main banking room. This opulent space features arcaded walls, elaborate plaster ornamentation, and a coffered ceiling and skylight. In a city known for its traditional architecture, the Farmers’ and Exchange Bank is a bold and striking anomaly.