Thanks to its views across Charleston Harbor, the Edmondston-Alston House is one of the city’s most popular historic homes open to the public. Named for its builder and the rice planter who purchased it from him just a decade later, the mansion, with its Corinthian columns and rooftop piazza, is a prime example of the Greek Revival architecture popular in the early 19th century. The center of several key Civil War events, the house served as a lookout spot for Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard during the siege on Fort Sumter in April 1861, and a refuge for General Robert E. Lee on the night of the Great Charleston Fire of 1861. It’s still owned by the Alston family, and the interior looks much as it did 150 years ago.
Merchant Charles Edmondston built the house in the early 18th century, and eventually sold his property off to Charles Alston and his family, who still have ownership of the home today. Visitors can go to the house and learn about its history and study the Greek Revival interiors.