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. Its hyphenated name joins that of its builder and of 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 house was at the center of several key Civil War events: as a lookout spot for Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard during the siege on Fort Sumter in April 1861, and as a refuge for General Robert E. Lee on the night of the Great Charleston Fire of 1861. The mansion is owned by the Alston family, and its interior is preserved to look much as it did 150 years ago.
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