Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon
Charleston, SC 29401
Open daily 9:00a to 5:00p
The Exchange and Provost, in colonial Charleston, was where many significant events of the American Revolution and early Federal period occurred. As Charleston became the South's largest port, the Exchange and Custom House was built from 1767 to 1771 for the expanding shipping industry, but also served as a public market and meeting place. Confiscated tea was stored in the building in 1774 after the protest meeting against the Tea Act. The British used the building as barracks and the basement as a military prison during the Revolutionary War. The State Legislature met in the building in 1788 after the Statehouse was destroyed and in 1791 a grand ball was held here for George Washington when he visited Charleston.
The symmetrical Georgian style building is two stories with an elevated basement and hipped roof. The central projecting pavilion on the main side of the building and tall Palladian windows are typical classical details of the Georgian period. Originally the building fronted the harbor, but during the past two centuries several blocks have been created by landfill between the Exchange and the water. In the 19th century the building was used mainly as a post office and customhouse. In 1879 a new United States Custom House was built and the Exchange was no longer needed to conduct Port business.
The Exchange and Provost is located at 122 East Bay St., at the foot of Broad St.