Nathaniel Russell House

Nathaniel Russell House
Nathaniel Russell House

The front façade of the Nathaniel Russell House, located on 51, Meeting Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
General information
Architectural style


Nathaniel Russell House
Nathaniel Russell House is located in South Carolina
Location: 51 Meeting St., Charleston, South Carolina
Coordinates: 32°46′26″N 79°55′53″W / 32.77389°N 79.93139°W / 32.77389; -79.93139Coordinates: 32°46′26″N 79°55′53″W / 32.77389°N 79.93139°W / 32.77389; -79.93139
Built: 1809
Architect: Unknown
Architectural style: Other, Federal
Governing body: Private
NRHP Reference#: 71000750
Significant dates
Added to NRHP: August 19, 1971[1]
Designated NHL: November 7, 1973[2]
Town or city Charleston, South Carolina
Country United States
Construction started 1809
Cost 80,000 dollars[3]
Design and construction
Client Nathaniel Russell
Architect Unknown

The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina near High Battery. It belonged to Nathaniel Russell, a Rhode Island merchant, who spent $80,000 on this Adamesque building before 1809. He and his wife, Sarah Russell, lived in the house during the early 19th century. It was sold to the state in 1955 by the Pelzer family, and today is used by the Historic Charleston Foundation as offices and also for tours.[3] It is currently a museum open for tours.

The house is widely recognized as one of America's most important Neoclassical houses and features three important geometric designs: a front rectangular room, a center oval room, and a square room in the rear.[4] Other rooms of the house include: the turquoise-color First-Floor Oval Dining Room; the Second-Floor Drawing Room, where the women of the house retired to after dinner; and the Withdrawing Room.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.[2]

An interesting fact is that the house has an elliptical spiral staircase, which ascends three floors. In addition, iron balconies surround the house, however not being interconnected. The house also has a large adjoining garden. Standing in the front garden, a green lawn can be seen behind which stands an arbor bench.

The Adamesque ornamentation of the fireplaces' mantles and cornices are among the most detailed in the city.[5] Much of the art displayed throughout the Nathaniel Russell House are of Charleston origin.

According to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, the "interior detail has all the delicacy and intricate ambition of the American version of the Adam manner."[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Nathaniel Russell House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b Foster, Mary Preston (2005). Charleston, A Historic Walking Tour. Arcadia. p. 26. ISBN 0-7385-1779-8. 
  4. ^ "Nathaniel Russell Hous". Historic Charleston Foundation. Retrieved January 12, 2007. 
  5. ^ "The Nathaniel Russell House". Talk of the Towne. Retrieved January 12, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston County (51 Meeting St., Charleston)". National Register Properties in South Carolina listing. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2008-03-22. 

External links

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