Williams Mansion

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The Williams Mansion
Calhoun Mansion in Charleston, SC.JPG
Location16 Meeting St., Charleston,
South Carolina
BuiltW.P. Russell
Built forGeorge W. Williams
Architectural style(s)Italianate
Governing bodyPrivate
Williams Mansion is located in South Carolina
Williams Mansion
Location of The Williams Mansion in South Carolina

The Williams Mansion (formerly called the Calhoun Mansion) is a Victorian house at 16 Meeting St., Charleston, South Carolina. The mansion is open for public tours.


George W. Williams bought the "Lowndes Lot" on Meeting Street and already had plans for a large house with attached conservatory, a hot house, extensive gardens, and an observatory atop the main house by 1873.[1] The house was built in 1875 and 1876 for George W. Williams, a businessman, according to plans drawn by W.P. Russell by the Devereux Brothers as contractors.[2] The cornerstone was laid April 26, 1875.[3]

George W. Williams' new house appeared in an illustrated guide to Charleston in 1875.

The 24,000-square-foot house has thirty main rooms and many more smaller rooms. The main hall is 50 feet long and 14 feet wide. The house has a ballroom with a 45-foot-high ceiling.

When Williams died, in 1903, his house was inherited by his son-in-law, Patrick Calhoun, a grandson of John C. Calhoun. It was from his ownership that the house derived its common name, the Calhoun Mansion. It opened as a hotel starting in 1914.[4]

In 1932, the rear portion of the property, which faces on Church Street to the east, was subdivided, and the original stables and servants' quarters were converted into the Louis Gourd House.

Attorney Gedney Howe and his wife, Patricia, bought the house in 1976 and undertook a restoration.[5] In 2000, Mr. Howe put the house up for sale,[6] but it was still unsold by 2004, when he opted to advertise it for auction to occur on May 25, 2004.[7] Before the auction, however, a private sale was arranged to lawyer and preservationist Howard H. Stahl.[8] [9] It currently is used to house and display Mr. Stahl's extensive collection of artifacts from the Gilded Age.[10]

In 2020, the home officially returned to its original name, the Williams Mansion. The owner stated he wished to avoid any implication that John C. Calhoun lived in the home.[11] The change came shortly after the nearby John C. Calhoun Monument was removed from Marion Square due to the monument's connection to white supremacy.

In popular culture[edit]

The house and grounds have appeared in ABC's mini-series North and South as the Hazards' mansion.
It also appears in Gunfight at Branson Creek movie.[12]


  1. ^ "A New Mansion on Meeting Street". News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. May 13, 1873. p. 4.
  2. ^ "The Williams Mansion". News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. January 10, 1876. p. 4.
  3. ^ "Important City Improvements". News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. April 28, 1875. p. 4.
  4. ^ "The Calhoun Mansion". News & Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. December 12, 1914. p. 3. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Leland, Jack (June 26, 1977). "New Generation Uses Old Skill on 16 Meeting St". Charleston News & Courier. pp. 13E. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  6. ^ Lang, Bob (September 23, 2000). "Showplace Calhoun Mansion up for sale". Charleston Post & Courier. pp. B1. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  7. ^ McDermott, John P. (March 27, 2004). "Meeting Street mansion heads to auction block". Charleston Post & Courier. pp. A1. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  8. ^ McDermott, John P. (May 20, 2004). "Deal signed to sell Calhoun Mansion". Charleston Post & Courier. pp. B1. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "The Preservationist". College of Charleston. September 13, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Calhoun Mansion". Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Williams, Emily (November 28, 2020). "Why the former Calhoun Mansion in Charleston scrapped the 'Calhoun'". The Post and Courier. Charleston, S.C. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°46′18″N 79°55′48″W / 32.771532°N 79.930034°W / 32.771532; -79.930034