Joseph Manigault House

Built by the architect of Charleston’s City Hall, this elegant 19th-century house is furnished with period decor from the collections of the Charleston Museum.

Joseph Manigault House, built in 1790, is an example of Federation-style architecture and a National Historic Landmark. It’s known for its period furnishings and decor, elegant spiral staircase and parallelogram shape.

The three-story brick townhouse was designed for Joseph by his brother Gabriel Manigault. The family’s ancestors had fled religious persecution in France. The highly skilled French Protestants, known as Huguenots, were welcomed in Charleston, which tolerated all Protestant religions. The Huguenot influence on Charleston’s architecture is still visible today in America’s first theater, public halls and stately houses.

The wealth Gabriel and Joseph Manigault accumulated from the rice plantations they owned allowed for a life of luxury. The music room, library and dressing room in their home were all novelties at the time.

Walk from room-to-room to admire the antiques and furnishings from Charleston’s museum. These include hand-carved four-poster beds, chandeliers, portraits of some of the Manigault family and an ornate wooden harp.

Large porches and a two-story piazza on the west side of the house provide a view over the plantation.

Enter the property through the folly, a domed temple. The garden features landscaped shrubs and flowerbeds, workers’ quarters, a stable and kitchen.

The house sits just across the street from the Charleston Museum. The Museum Mile Walk takes in some of the city’s historic houses, museums and public places. Walk the length of the street or take the DASH shuttle from downtown. There are ample parking spaces nearby, including free parking in the museum lot.

The museum is open daily except on major national holidays. Guided tours of the house and grounds are run daily and are included in the admission price.

Tour three museum sites, including the Joseph Manigault House, Charleston Museum and the Heyward-Washington House, for a reduced price.

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