(Charleston). Located at 350 Meeting Street, this antebellum mansion became an early success story for Charleston’s preservation movement when it was saved from destruction in the early 1920s. The Manigault House was designed by gentleman architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother Joseph and built circa 1803. A fine example of a neo-classical urban residence, it stands three stories high, has a hipped slate roof, and is built of brick laid in Flemish bond. A curvilinear bay with an entrance and a Palladian window is centered on the north side; on the south side, facing the garden, is a broad, double-tiered piazza. A small curvilinear bay on the east side is balanced by a semicircular double-tiered piazza on the west. The main rooms feature richly decorated mantles, moldings, and door and window frames. The ceiling of the stair hall is embellished with large plaster medallion ornaments. At the south end of the property is a garden temple with a bellcast roof. A kitchen, stable, and other dependencies originally occupied the northeast corner of the lot; these have long since been destroyed.
By 1920 the house had become a tenement and was threatened with demolition. Susan Pringle Frost founded the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings largely to save the Manigault House. It was purchased by the group in May 1920, but the cost of ownership proved financially burdensome. It was sold to a private owner in 1922, and the property and house were eventually donated to the Charleston Museum in the 1930s. The Manigault House was subsequently restored and operates as a museum. It was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1973.
Poston, Jonathan H. The Buildings of Charleston: A Guide to the City’s Architecture. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.
Weyeneth, Robert R. Historic Preservation for a Living City: Historic Charleston Foundation, 1947–1997. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000.