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Nathaniel Russel House Museum

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Historic Landmark)


The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house at 51 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina. The house was built in 1808, by the wealthy shipping merchant Nathaniel Russell, it is recognized as one of America's most important Neoclassical houses.

The famous staircase inside the mansion


The Foundation welcomes all visitors to explore daily life in one of Charleston’s most exquisite residents. The Nathaniel Russell House Museum is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical residents and is located downtown. In 1955, the Historic Charleston Foundation purchased the National Historic Landmark, and for 37 years the house served as the Foundation’s headquarters. Today, the interiors are restored to their original 1808 style and surrounded by formal gardens.

The home was constructed by Nathaniel Russell, a wealthy Southern merchant, at the turn of the 19th century. This historic home is best known for its landscaped gardens, detailed furnishings, and magnificent spiraling staircases. The Nathaniel Russell House has undergone interior and architectural restoration. This is a place to visit if you're looking for insight into the more lavish side of Southern comfort. During tours, you'll learn about the Russell family and the slaves who cared for the home.

Russell hired an unknown architect to build a large townhome in the then popular federal style. Sited on a large city lot in downtown Charleston, the rectangular house has symmetrical edges, with a projecting four-sided bay that rises the full three-stories of the central block of the house. The house is 9,600 square feet with 6,000 square feet of living area.The interior of the Nathaniel Russell house is greatly influenced by popular 19th-century trends, that introduced striking mixed color schemes, elaborate plasterwork decorations, and curved walls. The house features three main rooms each floor with different geometric designs: a center oval room, a square room in the rear, and a front rectangular room. The rectangular entrance hall with a black and white diamond patterned floorcloth edged with a leaf motif, and the adjacent office was where Russell would conduct business.


Nathaniel Russel House Museum. Historic Charleston Foundation. Accessed April 27, 2017.
The Nathaniel Russell House Museum. US News. Accessed April 27, 2017.
Nathaniel Russell House Museum. Distinctive Destinations. Accessed April 27, 2017.

51 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone Number
(843) 724-8481
Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun, 2-5 p.m.
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Colonial History
  • Historic Homes
  • Local History Societies and Museums
This location was created on 2017-04-27 by Mackenzie Combow, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.   It was last updated on 2017-05-01 by Mackenzie Combow, Marshall University; Instructed by David J. Trowbridge.

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