The next day I started my day out at the Edmondston-Alston House. This historic home is located at 21 East Battery. A Scottish immigrant from Shetland Islands, and shipping merchant, Charles Edmonston, purchased land in the early 19th Century. He wasn’t able to build on the land until a sea wall was built. The original architectural style was the English Regency style.
Edmonston saw hard times in the Panic of 1837 and had to sell the property during his bankruptcy process. Charles Aston, a rice farmer, bought the property in the late 1830’s. He remodeled the house in the Greek Revival style and also added a third story. Beauregard watched the bombardment on Fort Sumter from the house porch and Robert E. Lee stayed overnight during the Civil War. Major General Saxton also occupied the house during the Civil War.
The house has remained in the Alston family line since being purchased from Edmonston, though both names are attributed in the museum name. The house was converted to a museum in the 1970’s to preserve the architectural integrity of the home. The house has largely been unchanged since post Civil War era, one exception being the destruction of a balcony during the earthquake of 1886. The balcony was replaced with a cast-iron balcony.
The main entrance is in the area known as High Battery. The east facing home has a panoramic view of the harbor, High Battery, and the waterfront promenade. A wrought iron fence, atop a brick wall, protects the home.
The floor plan is fairly open, with several fireplaces and chimneys in the house. The second story has 14 ft. ceilings, large windows, and multiple doors—the two latter architectural aspects allow for air circulation that mimics air conditioning during certain seasons. Outbuildings originally held the kitchen and servants’/slaves’ quarters; and the back of the property originally contained the horse stables and carriage facilities.
The south side of the house has wide verandas while the north entrance of the house leads into a large hall, with a spectacular staircase, via an arch. The hall spans from north to south. There is a lower porch on the south end of the hall, with a door to the outside. On the second floor, right off the staircase, are two drawing rooms. The second floor also contains a library.
I loved seeing the architectural style of the exterior and interior. It is a very gorgeous home.