The house was constructed in 1817 at 48 Elizabeth St. and was expanded a couple of times until it reached its final incarnation in 1858. Once home to South Carolina Governor William Aiken, it featured a fine collection of books, furnishings, art, and architectural embellishments. It was effectively entombed for many years until the Charleston Museum gained ownership in 1975 and opened it to the public.
It is now owned by the HCF. They do not usually allow photos in the interior of the house, so the Instameet was a plum opportunity. Similar to nearby Drayton Hall, many rooms inside the Aiken-Rhett House are in a state of preservation, complete with tattered furniture, flecked paint, faded wallpaper, and cracked plaster walls and ceilings. This hands off approach showcases the building’s evolution. Some may find the unrestored rooms ghastly, but others find beauty in the patina. Judge for yourself.
For more photos of the Aiken-Rhett House Instameet, search the hashtag #arhinstameet on Instagram and Facebook.