The Historical Doors of Charleston

Tourists and Charlestonians alike always marvel at the architecture that makes up the coast of the Lowcountry. But have you ever taken a moment to adore the doors that protect these beautiful homes? 

Our Doors of Charleston Collection celebrates the unique entrances and the eye into the soul of the homes of some of the most prominent figures of Charleston’s history. We figured, what better way to celebrate this unique part of the homes we cherish the most in the Lowcountry, than to turn these doors into pieces of jewelry you can enjoy and love forever? In this two-part blog post, we will be celebrating not only these famous doors but also those who lived behind them. 

To look at and enjoy our collection visit the link below!

  • The Aiken Rhett House 

Our first piece was inspired by the front door of the Aiken Rhett House. The dramatic door, its surroundings, and keystone reflects the Greek revival details added to the home in the 1830’s. Its other prominent features include the ornate detail and tracer in the Fanlight Sidelights and central oval windows. All of these features you will see reflected in all of our pieces designed for this home. The house was built in 1820 by merchant John Robinson. It is still known today as one of the best-preserved townhouses in the United States. It was purchased shortly after by Governor William Aiken Jr. and his wife, who expanded the home in the 1830’s and the 1850’s. The house reflects urban life in Charleston from this time, what Southern politics were like, what the life of a slaveholder looked like then, and what the life of a successful industrialist liked like at this time. The home was in the Aiken Rhett family for 142 years until it was sold to the Charleston Museum and opened to the public in 1975. To this day, it has been left in the preserved-as-found approach. This means the structure and it’s contents have not been altered since the mid 19th century. It is safe to tour and be in, but none of it has been restored to its former glory. It is used for continued research and is still teaching historians to this day. The slave quarters stand untouched since the 1850’s, giving a real idea of what life was like for the population of slaves at the time. The house has withstood war, disease, and some of the worst hurricanes in Charleston’s history. Its glory still gleams out of its windows, and its stately door. We are proud to celebrate its history and the stories it still tells us today. 

For more information and to learn more, visit the website below!

  • The Calhoun Mansion 

The Calhoun Mansion door is an example of the Italianate and Renaissance revival style. The main exterior door contains two panels and showcases ornate leaded glass detail featuring an intricate rope design border, a motif found throughout the house. These beautiful details are highlighted in our pieces as well. The land that the mansion was built on was originally part of a plot that was owned by Governor Charles Pinckney, who hosted George Washington in Charleston when he visited three times in 1791. George Walton Williams built the home after he amassed a great fortune. He was known as a great businessman and also as a great humanitarian. Designed and built by William P. Russel, the mansion itself took five years to build, and was named the “most handsome and most complete private residence in the South”. When it was built in 1876, it cost $200,000 to build. Today, that would be about $4,668,345. The plot of land was purchased for $40,000, which today would be about $933,669. If this transaction would have been made today, it would have cost a total of $5,602,014. The house is 24,000 square feet, has 30 rooms, 14-foot ceilings, and 23 fireplaces. After Williams’s death in 1903, the home went through a parade of owners and sadly fell into being condemned in 1972. But the home was purchased by a Charleston local shortly after. It took them 25 years and 5 million dollars to restore it to its former grandeur. Today the home is the largest private single residence in Charleston. But it is open to the public for viewing and tours, minus the private living quarters of the family. 

For more information and to learn more, visit the website below!

What is your favorite door of our new collection so far? We are so excited to share more in our next blog about the rest of the incredible doorways that have inspired one of our newest and most exciting collections! 

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