Charleston, SC

The historic Edmondston Alston House in Charleston

Anita Durairaj
Edmondston-Alston HouseImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

If would like to visit an old house with a splendid view of the harbor, check out the Edmondston Alston House in Charleston, South Carolina. The house also serves as a museum and is located at 21 East Battery in Charleston.


The Edmondston Alston House (also called simply the Alston House) was first built in 1825 by a Scottish shipping merchant, Charles Edmondston. The house was three stories and was originally built in the English Regency style. The front entrance of the house faces Charleston's historic area known as High Battery. The house has a view of the Charleston Harbor and the High Battery. It was the first house to be built along the city's sea wall further up the Peninsula.

In 1837, Edmondston was forced to sell his house to Charles Alston who was a wealthy member of a Low Country family. Alston updated the house so that it would have a Greek Revival-style architecture.

Since 1838, the house has been owned by the Alston family. Alston added Corinthian columns, a cast-iron balcony, and a rooftop railing to the house. Today the house serves as a legacy of the Civil War. Books, furniture, and other personal belongings from the Alston family are still retained in the house to this day. The Alstons owned slaves and their lives are also intertwined in the history of the house.

Today, the house museum is managed by the Middleton Place Foundation.

Visiting the Edmondston Alston House

When you visit the home, you will see the beautiful Greek Revival interiors, family portraits, furniture, and the family silver. There is also an original print of the Ordinance of Secession. You will also get to see the spectacular maritime views from the piazza.

Tickets are required to tour the house. General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children ages 6-13.

COVID-19 safety rules require that masks should be worn at all times while touring the house. Occupancy will also be limited.

Google Reviews has rated the house at 4.5 stars out of five. The house tour takes about 25 minutes. No photography inside the house is allowed. A docent usually provides the tour of the house.

Visitors to the house have praised the beautiful view that the house affords.

There is an interesting story about the dining room table which could be extended to seat 22 people. The table was often carried upstairs for social occasions and then returned downstairs after the events were over. Obviously, it was slave labor that enabled all this.

There is also a record of the baptisms of slave children. The house is certainly rich with history.

As a special event, the Alston House also hosts "Wine On The Piazza." Guests get to enjoy a self-guided tour of the house followed by a glass of wine on the second-story piazza. The next "Wine On The Piazza" is scheduled for May 27.

If you are in the Charleston area, do check out the Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston.

Source: The Edmondston-Alston House

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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