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Nathaniel Russell House – Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House - Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House – Virtual Tour

The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house in Charleston, South Carolina, built by the slave trader and wealthy merchant Nathaniel Russell in 1808.

Nathaniel Russell (1738-1820) settled in Charleston in 1765, and twenty-three years later, married Sarah Hopton (1752-1832), a member of one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. 

Russell sought to build a prestigious home to display his prominence. Nathaniel, his wife, and two daughters lived in the house with 16 to 18 enslaved staff.

The house remained in the Russell family until 1857, after which the were several owners. In 1955 the Historic Charleston Foundation purchased the property and opened the house for public tours.

This large townhome was designed in the popular Federal-style. The rectangular house has a symmetrical façade, with a four-sided bay that rises the full three-stories of the central block of the house.

Constructed of Carolina gray brick, the front emphasizes height rather than width, and the main living areas are on the second and third stories. 

The house and grounds are separated from the street by a brick and wrought iron fence. The entrance gate flanked by tall brick columns capped with stone ball finials.

To the south of the house is the garden, that today is a formal English garden. In the rear of the house is the two-story slave quarters.

Nathaniel Russell House - Virtual Tour

South Bay of Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, South Carolina

Highlights of the Nathaniel Russell House

  • The Grand Entrance – the eight-panel door is faux-grained and is encased by fluted pilasters, and topped by an elliptical fanlight with looped tracery set within a molded arch
  • The Elliptical spiral staircase – ascends three floors
  • The First floor – influenced by the Adam style, popular at the first of the 19th-century, with curved walls, elaborate plasterwork decorations, and striking mixed color schemes
  • The Main Rooms – each of different geometric designs: a rectangular front room, a center oval room, and a square room in the rear
  • The Entrance Hall – rectangular with a black and white diamond-patterned floor edged with a leaf motif
  • The Windows – the three windows on the second-floor are emphasized by their floor-length, ornamented with white marble lintels
  • The Art and Furniture – though most are not original to the House, they are of the period and mainly of Charleston origin

Nathaniel Russell House - Virtual Tour

Slave Quarters of Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, South Carolina

Nathaniel Russell House

  • Museum:        Nathaniel Russell House
  • City:                Charleston
  • State:              South Carolina
  • Country:         United States
  • Built:              1808
  • Type:              Historic House Museum
  • Location:        51 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Nathaniel Russell House – Map

Nathaniel Russell House – 360 Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House – 360 Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House – 360 Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House – 360 Virtual Tour

Nathaniel Russell House

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Nathaniel Russell House

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Nathaniel Russell House

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“Beauty will save the world.”
– Dostoevsky

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Photo Credit: ProfReader / CC BY-SA (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0); 

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