I Used to Live in a House of Ill Repute

One of the best things about living in downtown Charleston is that not only are you surrounded by history all the time, but you also live in it too.  Sometimes the locale can be of honorable historic significance, other times – not so much.

One of my earlier homes in Charleston was a former brothel on Fulton St, next to the ‘high-class’ brothel of Charleston’s most famed madam – Grace Piexotto.  She operated out of 11 Fulton St in a red brick building that she herself had built around 1852 specifically for the purpose of entertaining the gentlemen of Charleston.

Fulton St at that time went by the name of Beresford Street.  It was only after the brothels disappeared that the local residents petitioned to have the name changed to avoid association with the street’s sordid past.

For more history about this, be sure to read this great article in the Moultrie News about “Calculating the Wages of Sin in Antebellum Charleston

Today Fulton St is home to a few parking lots, a garage, a few small offices and apartments and one of Charleston’s best restaurants – Fulton Five.  My living room window used to overlook Fulton Five’s second floor outdoor courtyard, so I feel a particular affection for this restaurant.  In the photo below, the gray building on the right housed my little apartment and two others.


So while the history of my street was not as illustrious as say the John C. Calhoun mansion – it is still a part of Charleston’s rich fabric that makes up what it is today.  Each house and building has a past – find out the history of the place you live (or want to live in) and share it here!

Stay tuned for the next installment of this post – “Living with Pirates…Aaaargggh!”

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