Going on Instagram tours is starting to become a bit of a past time for me, especially in Charleston where it combines two things I love – my city and taking iphone photos. I thought I’d finally post some snaps of a truly spectacular historic Charleston home, the Aiken-Rhett house. These were taken on another “Instameet” offered by the Historic Charleston Foundation, photo below of me and a friend courtesy of the @historiccharlestonfoundation instagram:
The c.1820 home and it’s outlying buildings has been conserved, but never updated so it retains an air of faded grandeur rather than extreme polish, like the Nathaniel Russell House, also built in the early 1800’s. Because of the dichotomy, if you have the opportunity I would certainly try to visit both homes, as each gives you a feel for their time in its own way. The outside of the Aiken-Rhett house in fact, is the only “polished” feature of the home, almost Mediterranean in feel with it’s golden tone and grand porches:
The inside is a bit more romantic with peeling paint and dusty chandeliers. I ran into a friend of mine on the tour who snapped this photo of me in the stairwell, I half-expected to see a ghost pop up over my shoulder:
One of the most spectacular rooms is the former ballroom with its huge gilt mirror and original upholstered furniture. On the ceiling is a large, carved medallion that clearly some fabulous light fixture hung from at some point:
Without air conditioning, these massive homes relied on large wooden shutters and old-fashioned cross-ventilation to keep the rooms cool in the hot summer months. Seeing the light filter through them from the inside makes you feel like you are trapped in another world altogether:
The original structural details and textures created by the walls and peeling paint are what make viewing this particular home and outlying structures such as the kitchen house (above) such a rich experience, one I really enjoyed!