South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Shaw Community Center, Charleston County (22 Mary St., Charleston)
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The Shaw Community Center building was built to house the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial School. The Shaw Memorial School is important to black history because it was begun as a tribute to the bravery of Robert G. Shaw and his men, members of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the first all black fighting units in U.S. military history. Shaw was the commanding officer of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. He and his regiment were destroyed in the attack on Fort Wagner, Morris Island near Charleston Harbor. His family and friends furnished the fund for the school. This school was one of the earliest free schools in the South that blacks could attend. The two-story clapboard flat-roofed building resting on a high brick foundation was erected ca. 1874. Originally it was in the shape of a Latin cross with the arms of the cross located nearest and parallel to Mary Street. Later two wings were added to the rear of this building which matched the crosspiece. The fašade’s high brick foundation is pierced by semicircular arches, as are the sides of the building, and above each arch on both stories are nine-over-nine light double sash windows. The nomination includes two coach houses. Listed in the National Register April 11, 1973. The Shaw Community Center has since been demolished. Removed from the National Register October 1974.

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