The History of Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, SC

While there is plenty to discover in Charleston, SC, perhaps one of the most interesting things to learn about is the history of Calhoun Mansion. This magnificent structure was artfully built in 1876 as a private residence, but it now serves as a museum so visitors can marvel at its gorgeous architecture. Learn more about this historic site below!

View even more historic sites on a horse-drawn carriage tour with Classic Carriage Works. Our experienced guides have a vast knowledge of the area and enjoy sharing the story of Charleston, SC. Book today!

Past to Present

The Calhoun Mansion lot was purchased by George Williams shortly after the end of the Civil War. Five years and $200,000 dollars later, the mansion was completed.

George Williams passed away in 1903, and the house was inherited by his son-in-law, Patrick Calhoun. Patrick was the grandson of John C. Calhoun, who was the Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832.

The mansion then changed hands multiple times. One of the owners turned the home into a hotel during World War I, calling it the Calhoun Mansion.

Things took a turn in 1972. In this year, the home was condemned due to its decrepit state. However, just four years later, a private owner bought it for $220,000 and restored it over the course of 25 years, totaling a jaw-dropping five million dollars in repairs.

In the early 2000s, the home came back on the market once again. In 2004, it was bought by its current owners for $9.5 million. Today, the owners live in a portion of the mansion, while the rest of the home is open for touring!

Quick Facts

There are so many interesting and unique facts about the Calhoun Mansion:

  • The lot was once owned by Charles Pinckney, who was one of the signers of the United States Constitution
  • The lot was bought for just $40,000 (in Confederate money, that is!)
  • The home is an astounding total of 24,000 square feet, contains 35 rooms with 14-foot ceilings, 23 fireplaces, one 45-foot skylight, and one 75-foot domed ceiling
  • It is considered the largest single-family residence in all of Charleston, South Carolina
  • After its completion, it was called, “…the handsomest and most complete private residence in all of the South” by the Charleston News and Courier

What You’ll See on a Tour

The mansion is open for touring from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. These are some of the rooms and features you’ll get to experience while walking through the home:

  • The Grand Entrance Hall (The ceiling is 14 feet high, 14 feet wide, and 65 feet long)
  • The ornate living room
  • The Gentleman’s Library
  • The Reception Room
  • The Lady’s Sitting Room
  • The Owner’s Office (Features a Middle Eastern collection of furniture and antiques)
  • The English Gardens

Book a Tour with Classic Carriage Works

If you enjoyed learning about the history of the Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, SC, consider booking a tour with Classic Carriage Works. On your tour with us, you’ll travel through Charleston’s historic district by horse-drawn carriage and discover the history of countless sites that serve as the foundation of the city. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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