Nathaniel Russell House

 

The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house at 51 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina. I am breaking down our destinations as we adventure through the low country. 

Nathaniel Russel House - Charleston, South Carolina. The rectangular house has a symmetrical facade. The second floor windows are ornamented with white marble lintels recessed below roman inspired arches. 

 Gardens leading to the visitors center

Gardens leading to the visitors center

 Front of house

Front of house

I am absolutely in love with the gardens in the low country. The climate is humid and tropical, resembling a hothouse. It rains almost every afternoon so I doubt many people have to think about watering their plants. I live in California and envy this flourishing horticultural climate. 

The most important architectural feature in the home is the warm yellow ochre staircase hall that spans three stories. The spiral staircase is a canteliver design (the step above supports the step below). This was all accomplished by the use of wooden pegs, not a single nail or screw was used during construction. The center features a troupe-l'oeil painting, an artistic illusion to trick the eye into believing the design is 3d.  

 Elipitial medallion to meet the second story

Elipitial medallion to meet the second story

The shutters and pine plank flooring is original to the house. To prevent the furniture from being further damaged by the sunlight, the shutters are closed during specific times of the day. 

Adjacent to the spiral staircase sits the oval dining room. The walls are covered in turquoise wallpaper applied square by square and painted after application. Interesting fact about life in the south: they begin the day with breakfast; as much of us do, although they eat an early supper around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Later in the evening around 5 or 6 leftovers/cold-cuts are served or available if people are still hungry, followed shortly by dessert. 

The oval drawing room is located on the second floor right above the dining room. This is where the women would retire to after dinner, separating themselves from the men. The brightly colored and ornate rug is reflected through the entire room with its apricot walls and detailed crown molding.  

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This room is similar to what we refer to as the master bedroom. The walls were hand painted with a special brush to replicate how it would have looked in the 18th century.  The furniture in the home is not directly related to the Russell family, but pieces from the time period that they resided in the home. The Nathaniel Russell House is definitely a site to visit if you find yourself in Charleston, South Carolina. The surrounding area and neighborhood of this site allows for an incredible opportunity to walk around and enjoy the beautiful homes. The sister property to this house is the Aiken-Rhett House. I will share more about the Aiken-Rhett in later post. 

 Georgian style four poster bed with upholstery hangings for ornate and warmth purposes.

Georgian style four poster bed with upholstery hangings for ornate and warmth purposes.

Have you had the pleasure to visit Charleston, SC? If so what was your favorite thing about the historic downtown district? 

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