South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston County (51 Meeting St., Charleston)
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Facade Left Elevation Interior
Central Hall
Cetnral Hall

The Nathaniel Russell House is an excellent example of the Adam style of architecture. Russell’s house was built when local carpenters had a decade of experience with the light and airy manner made popular by Robert Adam. His house has been called an exercise in ellipses, for from its free-flying stair to the wrought iron balconies, to the principal windows and doors, we find the expression of movement, combining in a contrast of forms. It was the last great house of the city’s post-revolutionary period. Built in 1809, the house is in the form of a rectangle, conforming partially to the outline of a single house, but with a strongly projecting four-sided bay which rises the full three stories of the central block of the house. Its face is dressed with marble window lintels, relief brickcourses, lovely bright red cutting brick arches above the windows of the second story, and topped with a paneled balustrade running fully about the central block and the south bay. The house is constructed of brick and has a hipped roof. The interior detail has all the delicacy and intricate ambition of the American version of the Adam manner. Slender double-encased pilasters in door and window architraves, Chippendale fret, anthemions, the iris, urns and swags, combine and enhance each other in both plaster and wood to give the rooms a most extraordinary refinement. Listed in the National Register August 19, 1971; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 7, 1973.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.

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