A National Historic Landmark
Today, our historic inn in Charleston is known for its luxurious atmosphere and amenities that combine modern and historic pleasures. Located within walking distance of all that Charleston has to offer, Governor’s House Inn’s historical significance dates back to the Revolutionary War, with the house being built a little over a decade before that era. We invite you to learn more about its beginnings, including the site’s origins, the home’s designer and more.
The Governor’s House Inn was built by James Laurens in 1760 on the site of the former Charleston Orange Garden. Located just outside the original walled city of old Charles Towne, the Orange Garden, which was believed to be the site of an actual orange grove in the late 1600s, was a park where concerts were frequently held.
The Origins of Our Historic Inn in Charleston
The house was designed by Miller & Fullerton as a traditional Georgian double house, with a center stairway and two large rooms on either side. Typical of the style, the home is tall, lofty, and extremely symmetrical. The house underwent a large renovation in 1885 under the ownership of Captain Wagener. At that time, Victorian homes were extremely popular, so the house now features a Victorian spiral staircase. The heart of pine floors, fireplaces and triple-hung windows are all original. The fireplaces located in the formal living and dining rooms are solid slate.
A National Historic Landmark & Pride of Charleston
There are very few places in the United States where someone can lay claim to living in the home of a “Founding Father.” Edward Rutledge, signer to the Declaration of Independence, lived in this magnificent Georgian style mansion from 1763 until his death in 1800. Rutledge also served as South Carolina’s 10th Governor. Now known as The Governor’s House, this home was first built in 1760 by James Lauren’s, brother to the President of the Second Continental Congress, Henry Laurens. Son John Laurens served as aide-de-camp to President George Washington and was close friend to Alexander Hamilton.
Sitting on nearly 1/2 acre just outside the original walled city, on the site of the former Charleston Orange Garden, the house has been altered and added onto since construction. The grand double house boasts Greek Revival wrap around piazzas as a Category 3 House listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1971 the home was declared a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior. The mansion and kitchen house currently serve as an 11-room historic Inn with an Innkeeper studio. The mansion is easily converted back into a spectacular single-family home. Original details are found throughout including heart of pine floors, detailed moldings, 7 fireplaces, triple hung 9-foot windows and 12 foot ceilings. The main level of the property includes a grand entry with sitting area, formal dining room, piano room, parlor, kitchen, reception room, office, powder room and one guest suite. Ascend the ornate spiral staircase to the second floor to find four guest suites, three with sitting rooms. Two guest suites are on the third floor. The ground floor, or “terrace level” has two guest suites as well as a studio apartment with kitchenette and full bathroom. Two guest suites with separate sitting rooms can be found in the kitchen house. The large lot includes space for 14 off street parking spaces and a beautifully landscaped garden. See agent for details if interested in the property as an Inn.
The home has been declared a National Historic Landmark due to its association with Edward Rutledge, who was instrumental in the struggle for American independence, and the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence at 26. Rutledge inhabited the home from 1776 until his death in 1800. He originally leased the home from its owner, James Laurens. Rutledge purchased the home for himself in 1788.
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“Governor’s House captures my heart. I just might move in permanently.”
– SOUTHERN LIVING