William Enston Home: History

As we dive straight into another semester, we find ourselves on a site that has a strong historical presence that we have not quite seen before. William Enston Home was founded by William Enston and is located on 900 King Street. The Home is registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

William Enston

William Enston Home is an example of a community for the elderly. It was developed over a period of time between 1887 – 2007. The home is comprised of 24 residential cottages, a Memorial Hall, an infirmary, an engine house, a water tower and an entrance gate.

William Enston’s intentions for the Home were to “make old age comfortable.” Quoted from his will, William Enston wanted:

“To build up a Hospital for Old and Infirm persons. None must be admitted under the age of 45 years, unless in case of some great infirmity; some lameness, some physical infirmity. The necessary qualifications for entrance must be poverty; a good, honest character; the parties must be decent

After the Charleston Housing Authority took ownership of the Home, they strive to uphold Enston’s original intentions.

The architecture of the homes categorizes with the Romanesque Revival common to contemporary Queen Anne-style architecture. Some features that we found that stands out is the red brick material, masonary arches, arches, beltcoursing, mousetoothing, corbelling, window sashes and keystones, fan windows, and gable steeply pitched red seamed-metal roofs.

Original Homes
Newer Homes

These architectural aspects are important for us to understand as a studio because we will be referring to these once we get into the design phase of the project.

This quick snapshot of William Enston Home’s history only scratches the surface of the amount of research that we have complied thus far. Stay tuned for more exciting things as we prepare for our first presentation of the semester this Friday!

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