Distinctive Destinations

Front entrance of the house museum

photo by: Rick McKee

Aiken-Rhett House

  • Address 48 Elizabeth Street
    Charleston, South Carolina 29403
  • Hours
    10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Phone 843-722-3405

Visit Aiken-Rhett House

Plan Your Visit


Built in c. 1820, the Aiken-Rhett House is the most intact townhouse complex showcasing urban life in antebellum Charleston. Greatly expanded by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken Jr. in the 1830s and 1850s, the house and its outbuildings, including quarters for enslaved African Americans, survive in a condition that depicts the ways they have changed and evolved over time. The house spent 142 years in the family's hands before it was sold to the Charleston Museum, and it opened as a house museum in 1975. Historic Charleston Foundation, having purchased the house in 1995, has adopted a conservation approach to the interpretation of this important house and its outbuildings, allowin visitors to explore connections among all members of the Aiken household, free and enslaved.

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