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19 year veteran tour guide of the city of Charleston.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pineapple Gates House (14 Legare)

Its been a while, but time for a new post! This time we will talk about 14 Legare St. known as the Pineapple Gates House or the Simmons-Edwards House. This home is an impressive single home built around 1800 and having much in common with 18 Meeting that we did in an earlier post. Francis Simmons built the home, he was a John's Island planter and is mostly know in Charleston for being the celibate bridegroom. He supposedly married a woman out of honor, but felt he had been forced into the marriage so he dropped her off at her family's house on Tradd St. on the wedding night and they never slept in the same house. After Simmons death in 1814 the house was purchased by George Edwards whose initials appear in the wrought iron around the front door. Edwards also had the now famous "pineapples" installed atop the gate posts. They are actually Italian Pine cones! The home has recently been restored to an incredible level after years of abondonment due to legal issues with a previous owner (can't get into that story here!). The complex still contains the original kitchen and carriage house and contains 28 rooms and a rumored 15,000 square feet. One of the most famous houses in the city and also featured on the You Are Here Charleston Gates and Doors Tour!. For more info call 843-870-1343 or visit the website at www.youareherecharleston.com.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poyas-Mordecai House

This one of my favorite houses in the entire city. It has the mottled look of the old paint wearing off, but you can tell the house is in pristine condition. Built in 1796-1800 on a very traditional single house plan, the home has a rather large amount of north facing windows. These windows were believed to have been added when the home lost its northern nieghbor in the earthquake of 1886. The door of the home is solid cherry and reputedly wieghs over 200 pounds. The present owners have also done a magnificent job of creating a wonderful garden on the south side visible from Meeting St. The home was built built by John Poyas who was a physician, but later on fell into the hands of Moses Mordecai who became one Charleston's most famous blockade runners during the Civil War after an initial reluctance to take the side of the South. Mordecai lost his entire fortune in the war and was able to regain it post war. He also brought home many SC soldiers of the Civil War and created the Confederate Memorial at Magnolia Cemetery. An absolutely charming house directly in St. Michael's shadow and worth a minute to stop and take a look at!
Featured on the Doors and Gates Tour with You Are Here! Charleston Tours as well!
Call us at 843-870-1343 for reservations or for more information!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thomas Heyward Junior House 18 Meeting St.

Number two in my Charleston House series today! The Thomas Heyward Jr. House at 18 Meeting St. was built in 1803 by a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward junior. The house follows to tee the traditional Charleston single house floor plan of being one room wide. The home is built entirely of brick and has exceptional piazzas on the southern facade. The home is ofetn overshadowed by its enormous neighbor to the south in the Calhoun Mansion at 16 Meeting, but is to me a more traditional, understaed, Charleston masterpiece! Heyward also owned the Heyward-Washington house on Church St. which is now a museum.

Friday, December 31, 2010

27 King St.

I know I said I was going to start with churches but I changed my mind! I really wanted to talk about what I think might be one of the most historic buildings in Charleston. The Miles Brewton House at 27 King St. has many notable achievements to its credit. Built in 1767 by wealthy merchant and slave trader Miles Brewton, the home is constructed of Georgia red brick instead of Charleston grey. You may also notice the similarity in its architecture and that of Drayton Hall Plantation. Its is considered to be one of the finest Georgian style town homes ever built in the US. Just a few years after it was built, Brewtone and his family were lost at sea and the home was inherited by his sister Rebecca Brewton Motte. It was during her ownership that Charleston fell to the British and the home became the headquarters for the occupying British Army. She hid her two daughters in the attic for the entire two year occupation. There is still graffiti inside from these soldiers! During the War Between the States, the Union Army took over Charleston in 1865 and guess what house they chose as headquarters! For the secnd time in less that a hundred years the family had more uninvited guests. Going into 2011 another important thing about the house is the fact that it has NEVER been sold. It is still in the hands of the decendants of the Brewton family 243 years after they built it.
The front ironwork is alo=so amazing with the imposing cheveaux de fris designed to keep the home secure from slave rebellions after 1822. This home is absolutely amazing and a must see on any trip to Charleston. Featured on our historic homes walk as well, see our website at www.youareherecharleston.com for details!