The Nathaniel Russell House is owned and operated by the Historic Charleston Foundation, and is a stop on the Historic Homes Walk. It is a Federal-style townhouse built by a Charleston merchant in the early nineteenth century. The house is noted for its geometrically-shaped rooms, a grand free-standing central staircase, and extensive urban garden. Intricate care has been placed in reproducing the original wall-painting, woodwork, furnishing styles, ironwork and masonry in the home.
The home is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. There is a small gift shop located in the old kitchen building behind the main house. No photography is allowed inside the home.
The free standing staircase was the highlight of this historic home. The staircase is not connected to any walls, nor is it supported by any nails or screws. You can view the interlocking woodwork through a glass plate window at the bottom of the staircase.
I found the Nathaniel Russell House to be interesting among the homes we have visited so far due to the intricacy of the room layout. The central room, which is a dining room on first floor and music room on the second floor, is a large oval-shaped room, interesting in its dimensions. The oval room is unique among period homes we have visited so far in Charleston. There is also a striking richly-wallpapered and gilded sitting room adjacent the second floor music room. Another interesting thing that I found notable about the house is that it does not take advantage of extensive porches and porticoes as is common in Charleston homes in order to catch the breezes wafting in from the harbor. However, depsite its departure from the Charleston single-house features incorporated in other homes, the large central oval rooms do have slight balcony railings outside of full-opening windows. I found the docent to be very welcoming and entertaining here.