Glimpse never-before-seen Charleston
Step back in time to antebellum Charleston with the Daniel Library Friends fall house tour and see the never-before-shown Roper mansion and gardens at 9 East Battery. The tour includes four of Charlestons most beautiful houses and ends with a reception at Alkyon Arts and Antiques. The cost is $75 per person. Reservations are required. Call 953-7691 for more information or to make a reservation. The tour departs at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 7, from Alkyon Arts and Antiques at 120 Meeting Street.
The 2001Daniel Library Friends House Tour
A true historical gem, the Heyward-Washington house and garden at 87 Church Street is the place George Washington stayed during his tour of the Southern states in 1791. Built by wealthy rice planter Daniel Heyward, this lovely 18th century brick house features a notable collection of Charleston furniture built by the famous local cabinetmaker Thomas Elfe. Elfe also created the fretwork over several of the homes mantels. The garden has an exquisite layout with plants only known to 18th century Charleston.
Continuing on to 51 Meeting Street is the Nathaniel Russell house and garden with its majestic free-flying spiral stairway. Built by wealthy Rhode Island merchant Nathaniel Russell, this Adam-style mansion made of Carolina gray brick is trimmed with red brick and bears Russells initials in the front panel of the wrought iron balcony. It was acquired by the Historic Charleston Foundation in 1955 when children all over the city saved their pennies and nickels to purchase and restore the mansion.
Next is the Edmondston-Alston house and garden at 21 East Battery. This elegant townhouse was built in 1828 by Charles Edmondston who left his native Scotland for the riches of a new frontier. Charles Alston acquired the house in 1839. The house is typically Charleston in design with its wide piazzas, northern entry hall, and large, gracious rooms. Alston built the parapet atop the house and placed his family coat of arms on it. Today, the house is owned by Charles H. Duell of Middleton Place Gardens.
The final stop on the tour is the Roper house and gardens at 9 East Battery. Noted architect Edward Brickell White built this magnificent mansion in 1838 for Robert William Roper. Unique with its entrance door framed in rope molding, it was at the time the southernmost house on the peninsula, commanding wide views of the harbor and Cooper River. In 1865, evacuating Confederates blew up a neighboring 38-ton Bakely cannon, sending a large fragment on the roof where it is still lodged. The house was purchased and exquisitely restored in 1968 by Richard H. Jenrette. Never before shown, this house is a must-see for historic enthusiasts.