Charleston is filled with some pretty incredible historic homes, many of which are open to the public as house museums. Over the next few months, we’ll highlight one of these homes with information on how to take a tour and some of our favorite historical tidbits.
Built in 1803, the Joseph Manigault House is a perfect antebellum structure, giving visitors a look at the urban lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family. The house itself – a National Historic Landmark – is an example of Federal period architecture. It was designed for Joseph Manigault by his brother Gabriel, who is also credited with designing Charleston’s current City Hall.
The house at 350 Meeting St. is managed by The Charleston Museum and boosts a striking spiral staircase in the central hall. Many of the rooms are restored to their original color schemes and all feature historic pieces from the Museum’s collections, including a selection of American, English and French furniture dating to the early 19th century.
Outside, a classical Gate Temple overlooks a period garden, and the locations of adjacent historical outbuildings – slave quarters, stable and privy – are marked with interpretive signs.
Interestingly, the Preservation Society of Charleston was founded in 1920 in an effort to protect the Joseph Manigault House, which was about to be demolished to make way for a gas station. Susan Pringle Frost led the preservation effort and the long-lasting result is a society that continues its preservation work in Charleston today.
Visit the Joseph Manigault House during a historic city and mansion tour with our sister company, Adventure Sightseeing. The two-hour bus tour includes a ride around the battery, Rainbow Row and more along with a 30-minute guided tour of the Joseph Manigault House.
(photo/The Charleston Museum)