Head over to 350 Meeting Street at the corner of Meeting and John in Charleston, SC, and you’ll see a genuine National Historic Landmark that represents one of the points of pride in one of America’s most historic cities. If you’re planning on visiting Charleston, the Joseph Manigault House is one of the best ways to explore 19th century history. Here are some great things to know about this amazing historical site.
A Brief History of the Joseph Manigault House
To know the history of the house, you first have to know the history of the Manigault family—including Joseph’s brother, Gabriel. Gabriel was the architect who first designed the house in 1803, the same year as the Louisiana Purchase. The architecture is noted as an example of the Adam style, which was heavily influenced by European tastes at the time. Gabriel had studied architecture in London and brought the unique style to a place where “single/double home” styles were traditionally used.
The Manigault family, as noted by CharlestonMuseum.org, were descended from French Huguenots who first left Europe because of persecution in the late 17th century. The Manigault family prospered after that, particularly thanks to the production of rice. Joseph Manigault even married the daughter of Arthur Middleton, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Like many of the historic homes in Charleston, the Joseph Manigault House is meticulously preserved today to give visitors a sense of the architecture and lifestyle people enjoyed in the early 1800s. Though a group in the 1920s wanted to demolish the house to make room for a gas station, the Preservation Society of Charleston eventually got their hands on it—and the rest is history.
Tips for Visiting the Joseph Manigault House
Want to experience the historical flavor of Charleston? The Joseph Manigault House is an ideal pick for your next destination. Just remember these key items and bits of trivia before you go:
- The “gatehouse” is really what’s known as an architectural folly—it mostly serves decorative purposes.
- The “Adams style” that makes the Manigault House unique from other Charleston homes is a great study for any architectural enthusiasts in your group.
- Book your visitation in advance. Charleston Carriage Works tours (all Charleston carriage tour companies) are based on a lottery system controlled by the city. We have several different circuits through which we explore the historic district, so you might have to schedule a trip to this house on your own to ensure you get to see it.
- Don’t research too much ahead of time—your guides will give you all of the proper historical context as you explore the house. Just relax and enjoy!
Schedule A Carriage Tour Today
Of course, there are more ways to get a slice of Charlestonian history than simply visiting the Manigault House. To explore the historic district of Charleston in a unique way, book a carriage tour with Charleston Carriage Works and see many of the city’s greatest sites!