Distinctive Destinations

Aiken-Rhett House Museum

  • Constructed: c. 1820
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina

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 in which they have changed and evolved over time. The house spent 142 years in the family's hands before being sold to the Charleston Museum and opened as a museum house 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 which allows visitors to explore the interconnections among all members of the Aiken household, free and enslaved.

Front entrance of the house museum

photo by: Rick McKee

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