Heyward Washington House Charleston, SC
One of the best reasons to visit the city of Charleston is the abundance of beautiful historic homes that line the streets. These homes are not only examples of stunning architecture and design, but they also give insight into the lives of early residents, often dating back to the days of the American Revolution. Integral to this history is the Heyward Washington House, which was inhabited by influential founding fathers and stands today as a beautiful example of architecture during this period.
About Thomas Heyward
The Heyward Washington House in Charleston gets its name, in part, from Thomas Heyward Jr. Heyward was a native to South Carolina who is most noted for being one of the four men from South Carolina to sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In addition to signing the Declaration of Independence, he served in the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War, and was actually captured by the British in in 1780. He was held as a prisoner of war for 11 months, when he was released as part of a prisoner exchange. He served as a judge until his retirement in 1798, and he passed away in 1809 at the age of 62.
George Washington’s Stay
In addition to being the city home of Thomas Heyward, Jr., the Heyward Washington House is notable for being the temporary residence of President George Washington. The city of Charleston rented the home from Heyward in order to allow the President the lavish living space during his week-long visit to the city in 1791.
Hayward Washington House Architecture
The Heyward Washington House Charleston, SC was built in 1772, and is considered a Georgian-style double house. It is notable for its brick exterior, featuring an abundance of windows on all sides of the building. Thomas Heyward, Jr. owned the home until 1794, when he sold it to a fellow Revolutionary War officer, John F. Grimke. The Charleston Museum acquired the building in 1929, and it opened the following year as Charleston’s first public historic house museum.
Preservation and Display
In addition to the beautiful architecture, the Heyward Washington House in Charleston features an impressive collection of Charleston-made furniture, the most notable of which is the Holmes Bookcase. This priceless bookcase is widely considered one of the finest examples of American-made furniture during the colonial period. The property also features the only 1740’s era kitchen building open to the public. Visitors are also impressed with the grounds surrounding the home, which feature formal gardens modeled after quintessential gardens from this period.
Tours are offered Monday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm, with the last tour beginning at 4:30pm. You can also tour on Sundays from 12pm to 5pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for youths, and tickets are available for purchase through the Charleston Museum.