The old tower was completed in 1876, survived hurricanes and a major earthquake, only to surrender to beach erosion. In 1962 a modern, newfangled light was erected on nearby Sullivan's Island, and the Coast Guard made plans to destroy the old Charleston Light tower. A local preservation effort thwarted those plans.
Once surrounded by outbuildings and a Victorian keeper's house, the old Charleston Light now appears to be drifting out to sea. The new black and white tower can be seen in the background of this photo. It is the only lighthouse in the country to have an elevator!
The old light can be easily viewed from the north end of Folly Beach.