St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church (Charleston, South Carolina)

St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church is a Catholic church in Charleston, South Carolina, and was the first Catholic parish established in the Carolinas and Georgia. The current building at 93 Hasell Street and is the third structure to house the congregation on this site.

St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church
St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church
AffiliationCatholic Church
DistrictDiocese of Charleston
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusParish
LeadershipRev. Father H. Gregory West, JCL, Pastor
  • Rev. Father Patrick Allen, Parochial Vicar
Location93 Hasell St.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America
Geographic coordinates32° 46' 54.6" N 79° 55' 58" W
Length84 ft (25.6 m)
Width50 ft (15.2 m)
MaterialsStucco over brick
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Added to NRHPNovember 7, 1976
NRHP Reference no.76001697[1]



The property and an old building were purchased in 1789. It was incorporated as the Catholic church in Charleston by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1791. The first structure was replaced by a brick church that burned in the Charleston fire in 1838.

Ceiling mural depicting the Assumption of Mary

The church was rebuilt quickly and reopened on June 9, 1839. It is a rectangular building, 84 ft (25.6 m) by 50 ft (15.2 m). It is built of brick with a stucco covering. There are four Doric columns that support a large entablature. The parapet wall at the top of the church was probably constructed around 1896. There are stained glass windows imported from Munich.

The nave has a central aisle and two large rows of pews. There are smaller pews along the side aisles. Above the altar, there is a painting of the Crucifixion by John S. Cogdell. The artist donated this painting to replace an earlier painting he had done in 1814, which was destroyed in the fire. Much of the interior of the church was renovated during a three-month renovation in 1884.[2] The church graveyard is on each side and to the rear of the church.

In the early 1980s, the neighboring Charleston Place complex was constructed, bordering the church on all sides. It was the only structure preserved on the lot, besides the few storefronts facing Meeting Street which were incorporated in the parking structure.

The St. Mary's Church is on the National Register of Historic Places, No. 76001697. The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has additional pictures and information.[3] and copies of the nomination forms.[4] There are additional pictures and information available from the Historic American Buildings Survey at the Library of Congress.[5]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Sunday in the City". Charleston News & Courier. October 6, 1884. p. 8. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Charleston County (93 Hasell St., Charleston)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  4. ^ McNutly, Katharine N.; Julian V. Brant Jr (April 2, 1976). "Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  5. ^ Prints and Photographs Online Catalog – Search for "St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church."

32°46′54.6″N 79°55′58″W / 32.781833°N 79.93278°W / 32.781833; -79.93278