Middleton Place

Charleston architecture, decor, history, food

February 2 to 9, 2020

5 participants minimum - Group limited to 8 people

$2,855 per person in double occupancy  -   $3,455 per person in single occupancy  -  2,055 single participant not staying in hotel

Included in the price:

6 nights in Charleston  -  6 breakfasts, 2 dinners, 5 lunches  -  reference books  -  private guides  -  entrance fees to sites 

Accident/Illness insurance  -  Transportation while on tour.

History
Named one of Conde Nast's Top Cities in the U.S. for many years in a row, Charleston has been remarkably well preserved and restored.  It draws over a million visitors a year with its beautiful mansions with their exquisite architectural details and interiors.
The city was founded in 1670 as Charles Town in honor of Charles I of England.  The name was shortened to Charleston in 1783.  
By the mid-18th century it had become the South Atlantic trade hub for commodities such as rice, tea, silk, and deerskin.  Indigo dye and cotton were its major exports.
African slaves played a significant part in the success of the region and contributed to the extensive wealth of plantation owners.
On our tour, you will get a deeper look at the history of Charleston through both its art and architecture.

Highlights of our tour
Middleton Place:
The house is now a museum with a fine decorative art collection.  It was built in 1755 with gardens designed according to the principles of André Le Notre who also laid out the classical gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles. Middleton Place's gardens are recognized as the oldest landscaped gardens in the nation and are a National Historic Landmark.


Drayton Hall
is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public and the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture.

John Drayton began construction of this gem of Georgian Palladian architecture in 1739, and it has survived largely intact. the American Revolution, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Drayton Hall was not just home to seven generations of Draytons, but to seven generations of African Americans, first brought to the plantation as slaves.

It is an extraodinary mansion, still in its 1700s' looks, without electricity or water, just the way it was when people lived in it. Its relationship with Palladio's architecture is not only obvious, but was designed by someone who certainly understood Palladio's style, Palladio's concept of proportions and Palladio's typical layouts, creating an original and  a good copy of Palladian architecture. Visiting just that building make a visit to Charleston worth its while. 


The McLeod Plantation House  
Located just outside of Charleston, the plantation first appeared on a map in 1695 but is named after William Wallace McLeod who bought it in 1851.
Its 60 acres feature an antebellum plantation house built in the Georgian style and one of the most remarkably preserved rows of slave quarters in existence. Its outbuildings include slave homes, kitchen, cotton warehouse, dairy and carriage house, all of which have been impeccably restored.


Old St Andrews Church
Built in 1706 , Old St. Andrew's Church is the oldest church South Carolina that still hosts regular services.  It is a beautiful example of Colonial architecture.


Fireproof Building
Also known as the County Records Building, it was designed by Robert Mills in the Palladian style. It was completed in 1827 and built so well that a fire burned up the top floor but the records  on the ground floor were not touched.  It is the oldest building in the U.S. to have been constructed with the specific objective of being fireproof.


Hibernian Hall
A National Historic Landmark, Hibernian Hall was built in 1840 for the Hibernian Society, an Irish benevolent organization founded in 1801.  

It was the first public building built in the pure Greek style and the only one in Charleston designed by Thomas U. Walter of Philadelphia.


Dock Street Theatre
First opened on February 12, 1736, with a production of The Recruiting Officer, it was the first building in the US to be built specifically as a theater but was lost to the Great Fire of 1740.  Rebuilt as the Planter’s Hotel in 1809, the theater only returned to the site in 1935, when it was constructed within the shell of the old hotel. It has undergone an extensive renovation in 2010.​

Also on the itinerary are several mansions, all exquisite with amazing furnishing and decors from eras long gone: 

Aiken-Rhett House: City’s most intact antebellum urban complex (c. 1820). Historic interiors, surviving virtually unaltered since 1858, have been conserved & stabilized. 

Joseph Manigault House: Built in 1803, the  house is an exceptional example of Federal period architecture with a remarkable collection of early 19th century furnishings.

Calhoun Mansion: an unequaled, Tiffany decorated, Gilded Age mansion unlike any other house museum in the country. 

Nathaniel Russell House: a grand Federal townhouse completed in 1808. Restored interior w/ elaborate ornamentation, period antiques & a magnificent free-flying staircase. Set amid spacious lush gardens.

and more things to see in a fascinating town:
St. Philip's Church, French Huguenot Church, First Scot's Presbyterian Church, St. Michael's Church, South Carolina Society Hall, Battery Row, and various buildings on Queen, Church, Broad, Meeting, and East Bay streets.

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art: a museum always full of surprises.

 

The Gibbes Museum of Art is according to  The New York Times  one of the top places to visit in its “36 Hours in Charleston” piece.

I agree and I always had a wonderful time enjoying their collections which now have a much larger space to be displayed.

We should not forget that Charleston has is known for the high quality of its restaurants. This will too be part of the experiencing this charming city.