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Joseph Manigault House Charleston, South Carolina

Part of the experience of visiting Charleston is driving by and walking through the abundance of historical homes that are dotted throughout the city. Through these homes, you truly get a sense of the rich history of the city, which dates back to before the founding of the United States. You can trace the evolution of the city through its architecture. One of the premier examples of this is the beautiful Joseph Manigault House in Charleston, South Carolina.


The Joseph Manigault House Charleston, SC is one of the most well-preserved and prestigious examples of Adams style, an 18th century neoclassical movement of architecture. Located near the center of Charleston, the house is a three-story brick structure built on a raised brick foundation. The main facade of the home features a stunning two-story porch across the center three bays, with elaborate doorways on each floor. Near the property’s entrance is the gatehouse, which although beautiful, is purely decorative. The interior of the home features delicate and intricate woodwork in the mantles, moldings, and cornices, indicative of the Adams style.

About Joseph Manigault House

Not only is the home architecturally significant, but it also has an historical importance. The home was built in 1803 for Joseph Manigault by his brother, Gabriel, who studied architecture in London. The Manigault family were descendants of French Huguenots, who fled religious persecution in the 1600’s. Here in America, the family rose to wealth and prominence as rice planters and merchants. Joseph inherited several rice plantations and over 200 slaves. With this wealth, he courted women from influential families as well. His first wife, Henrietta, was the daughter of Arthur Middleton, who signed the Declaration of Independence. After Henrietta’s death, he remarried to Charlotte Drayton and fathered eight children.

Preservation and Display

In 1933, the Charleston Museum purchased the home in order to preserve its architectural and historical significance. The home is now part of the Museum’s permanent collection. The Museum has returned many of the rooms to their original color schemes and has decorated the home with furniture from the Museum’s collection. View American, French, and English 19th century furniture throughout the home. Outside, wander the period-appropriate gardens on the grounds, and visit the other historical buildings, such as the kitchen, slave quarters, and stables.

Visit the Joseph Manigault House

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.