Kings Way. That’s what the English settlers called King Street when they first established the town of Charleston. It was indeed the ‘king’s way’ – a main way in and out of Charleston, a central location. This throughway has always been the predominate street in town, but not quite in its current charming, beautiful state.
As the years rolled on and the city developed, King Street remained a main street in Charleston, but also became a place to stroll, shop and sight see. Our now-home, 198 King Street, had various uses through the years: a roller rink, grocery store, even an inn catering to plantation owners and shipping magnates. In 1983, Charleston hotelier Richard Widman set his sights on lower King Street with a vision to restore 198 King Street as a hotel.
In the early eighties this block of lower King Street was virtually deserted. The stores below present-day Kings Courtyard Inn were occupied by an oriental rug store, an antique shop and a used book store- which at the time, was paying just $50 a month in rent.
In 1983, Richard Widman converted the space back into a hotel, joining two adjacent buildings together to create a 41-room inn. Its construction took eight months and its grand opening was a celebrated occasion in Charleston. This was one of very few hotels in the area, and perhaps one of the only hotels to retain its building’s historic feel. A revitalization of lower King Street was on the horizon.
Stay tuned for more fun history as we celebrate our 30th anniversary this November. In the meantime, get acquainted with Charleston’s historic Kings Courtyard Inn and start planning a special trip to Charleston.