The house was built in 1803 by Gabriel Manigault for his brother, Joseph. Both were attorneys but Gabriel changed his profession to become an architect and designed this house. It is of the Federal or Adam style architecture, which means that on each side of the house was a "rounded part." Whether it be in a room or a porch.
Before the Historical Society was able to restore the home, right there in front, almost to the steps was a gas station. Thank goodness the society was able to secure this property and retain it to it's beauty.
People of this time had large plantations (Rice was the primary crop) and these homes in the city were considered their "townhouses" which they generally used in the summer and during the height of the "Social" season in January and February. On the plantations it was not unheard of for them to have 500-1,000 slaves and they would bring 15-21 to the townhouse with them.
Looking from the house towards the front is this garden and people would come through this "Gate Temple."
This is the side of the house where stables, privy and some other out buildings were located. They did own more property then what you see here but sections were sold off to pay taxes before the Historical Society took over.
The Society outlined with bricks a general idea of how large some of the out buildings were. This is about 20x24 feet and was the kitchen which is always located outside and the slaves lived on the 2nd floor.
This is standing at the front doors looking into the foyer. On either side were rooms that were considered the offices for the owner of the house. No one that was not family could pass beyond the arches. The doors in back are the ones their guests would be dropped off in their buggies when they entertained and when the guests would look upstairs, that is where the owner and his wife would wait to greet them.
All the rooms had a fireplace and to balance out the room there was always two doors on each side. The one door, of course, was to enter and exit, but the other door generally had no hardware as was primarily for balance. Occasionally the door with no hardware was made into a closet.
Dining room and on the end there you can see how the wall rounded out.
Instead of wallpaper border, they used plaster and this was very intricate and detailed. Love it, but can you imagine all the work it took. Here is food for thought, not only did these homes have some great detail, but they have with stood hurricanes plus all kinds of weather conditions for hundreds of years and are still standing.
They had 7 sons and 1 daughter and this was the daughters' music room. AND this is the size of the room. Very small.
These next two pictures are looking up and down of the staircase.
Upstairs where they entertained, was the "Drawing Room." Tables were set up for dinner and then removed so they could dance. They entertained upstairs NEVER on the first floor because of the crosswind breeze and to avoid the stench from the animals.
The awesome item in this room is the windows. You slide the window up and then what was the bottom of the window looked like wainscoting when in fact it opened to make the whole thing a door to go outside to the 2nd floor porch.
Do you watch "Downton Abbey?" If you do you probably have an idea about the tapestry on either side of the fireplace. Pull one and it rings a bell downstairs for the servants.
Next to the Drawing Room was the modern day "Man Cave" where the gentlemen would talk politics and smoke, both things that were not done in front of women. That window also opens up like a door to the porch.
Steps to third floor which is always where the children slept and ate with their nanny.
Master bedroom and one with an "on Suite." This was not common.
In the On Suite this was considered the "Proper Privy" because the top comes down and it looks like a dresser.
Extremely narrow hidden stairs that led to the children's bedrooms. They were not sure if this was an escape route in case the house caught on fire or not.
The door on the left in the upstairs hall is the one that had the hidden staircase and the other is a closet. In between the doors is the "Man Cave," to the right is the "Drawing Room" and to the left goes to the "Master Bedroom."
Hope you enjoyed your tour. And next week I will show you pictures of the Heyward- Washington House and "why" it has two names.