Charleston’s Hampstead Square—actually four public squares surrounding the intersection of Columbus and America Streets—is a unique and beautiful space with a rich history dating back to the the 1760s. It was laid out in 1769 as the center point of the village of Hampstead, a real estate venture developed by the wealthy merchant, Henry Laurens. Over the past two and half centuries, Hampstead Square has weathered some of the most dramatic episodes in Charleston’s history—including several wars, a major earthquake, and Civil Rights demonstrations—and still retains much of its original character.
If you’d like to learn more about this often-overlooked gem of Charleston’s geography, please join me and several other presenters for a community symposium titled Hampstead Square: The Heart of Charleston’s Historic Eastside Neighborhood,” on Monday, October 27th 2014, at 5 p.m. at the Palmer Campus of Trident Technical College. It’s free and open to the public, and you’re guaranteed to learn a few new things about Charleston history and see some rare images of Hampstead’s colorful past.