Hibernian Hall (Charleston, South Carolina)
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Hibernian Hall is a historic meeting hall and social venue at 105 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Built in 1840, it is Charleston's only architectural work by Thomas Ustick Walter, and a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. It is nationally significant for its use during the 1860 Charleston Convention, in which the Democratic Party, divided by opinions on slavery, failed to select a presidential nominee, ensuring victory for the anti-slavery Republican Party in the 1860 presidential election. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973.〔〔 and 〕 The building continues to be used as a function and meeting space today.
==Description and history==
Hibernian Hall is located at 105 Meeting Street, just north of the intersection of Meeting and Broad Street in central Charleston, an intersection known as the "Four Corners of Law". It is a two story brick structure, its exterior clad in stucco and painted white. It has a classical Greek temple front, with six Doric columns, supporting a full frieze and gabled pediment. The pediment is modillioned and dentillated, with a round window at the center. Its styling, originally Doric like the columns, is now Corinthian, the result of alterations after the building was damaged in an 1886 earthquake. The building corners are pilastered.〔
The building was constructed in 1840 to a design by Thomas U. Walter of Philadelphia, for the Hibernian Society of Charleston, an Irish benevolent society. It is the only known work of Walter's in Charleston. The hall is also the only remaining building associated with the 1860 Democratic National Convention, one of the most critical political gatherings in United States history. The building served as convention headquarters for the faction of the Democratic Party supporting presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas. The first floor was used as a meeting space, and the second floor as living quarters for the delegates, who slept on hundreds of cots set up for the occasion. No one Democratic candidate could garner sufficient support, and the party's divisiveness led to the election of the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln.
Christopher Werner crafted its iron gates.
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