Places of Interest
The College of Charleston’s campus is an elegant blend of classical, colonial, antebellum, Victorian and modern architecture. Equally important, the College’s facilities, while preserving a sense of history, are technologically state-of-the-art.
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
Located a few blocks from campus, the Avery Research Center is a small yet important museum and archive dedicated to collecting and preserving the unique historical and cultural heritage of African Americans in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Opened in 2005, this state-of-the-art facility contains classrooms, faculty offices and meeting space, and serves as the home to the School of Business.
Blacklock House (National Historic Landmark)
Built in 1800 by an English merchant, the Blacklock House is the home for the Office of Alumni Relations.
Grice Marine Laboratory
The marine laboratory of the College of Charleston is located about 15 minutes from the main campus on James Island near the mouth of Charleston Harbor. The lab houses academic programs in Marine Biology and supports teaching and research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the marine sciences.
Through visual arts exhibitions, lectures and film series, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (HICA) provides the College and the surrounding community a direct experience with engaging works of art in all media. Each year, HICA produces the Young Contemporaries Series – an exhibition that gives students the opportunity to showcase their work.
John Rivers Communications Museum
Exhibits in the John Rivers Communications Museum highlight a wonderful collection of antique radios, televisions, phonographs, telephones, magic lanterns, motion picture projectors and other items related to the history of the entertainment and broadcasting fields.
Liberty Street Fresh Food Company
This contemporary, 26,000-square-foot dining hall opened in fall 2007, and features six service stations with fresh and local food choices, plasma-screen TVs, lounge seating and a fireplace.
Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library
Opened in 2005, this state-of-the-art, 140,000-square-foot facility has a holding capacity of one million volumes. The building contains the College’s library, the Center for Student Learning, a student computer lab and a café. The library provides students with access to more than 40,000 electronic journals and to virtually every book published in America between 1639 and 1800. On its third floor is Special Collections, which contains rare books, photographs, maps, prints, artifacts, manuscripts and the Jewish Heritage Collection.
Porters Lodge (National Historic Landmark)
Constructed in 1850, Porters Lodge was the home to the College’s porter, or custodian. On its George St. façade, it bears the Greek inscription for “Know Thyself.” Today, the structure houses several faculty offices.
President’s House (National Historic Landmark)
The oldest building on campus is the president’s home at 6 Glebe Street, which was constructed in 1770 as the parsonage of St. Philip’s Church. Today, it serves as the home of the current College president.
Randolph Hall (National Historic Landmark)
Built in 1828–29, Randolph Hall is one of the oldest college buildings still in use in the U.S. Named for the 11th president of the College (Harrison Randolph), Randolph Hall served as the main academic building on campus for many years. Today, it is used primarily for administrative offices, although it still contains some classrooms. The main meeting area, located on the second floor, is called Alumni Memorial Hall. Many of the College’s formal ceremonies and announcements take place here.
Built c. 1890 by a prominent Charleston merchant, the Sottile House is a Victorian mansion located near the center of campus and is noted for its stained-glass windows, carved oak doors, mosaics, chandeliers and delicate woodwork. Today, it houses the College’s Division of Institutional Advancement.
When it was completed in 1922, the Sottile Theatre was the largest theater in the state, seating more than 2,000. Today, it hosts a wide variety of performing arts events in support of the College, Spoleto Festival USA and community groups.
Opened in fall 2008, this 270,000-square-foot sports complex includes the 5,000-seat arena – the home of the volleyball team and men’s and women’s basketball teams. The facility also boasts state-of-the-art sports medicine facilities, the Cougars Athletics Hall of Fame, locker rooms, athletics offices, an academic support area and a 3,500-square-foot hospitality suite with an outdoor terrace.
The large, grassy oval adjacent Randolph Hall is called the Cistern. Constructed in 1857 to help control flooding due to heavy rain, as well as to provide water for fighting fires, the Cistern was later covered and planted with grass. Today, it is a favorite studying spot for students and the site of commencement in the spring.
Towell Library (National Historic Landmark)
Built in 1855, this structure was the first campus library. It is named for alumnus, former chemistry professor, dean and acting president Edward Emerson Towell.