- Drayton Hall
Drayton HallDrayton Hall (front)
Nearest city: Charleston, South Carolina and North Charleston, South Carolina Coordinates: Coordinates: Built: 1738 Architect: unknown Architectural style: Palladian Governing body: Private NRHP Reference#: 66000701 Significant dates Added to NRHP: October 15, 1966 Designated NHL: October 9, 1960
Drayton Hall, in the South Carolina "Lowcountry" and about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Charleston, South Carolina and directly across the Ashley River from North Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most handsome examples of Palladian architecture in North America.
The house was built for John Drayton (c. 1715-1779), begun in 1738 and completed in 1742, using both free and slave labor. The seven-bay double pile plantation house stands in a 630-acre (2.5 km2) site that is part of the plantation based on indigo and rice. Drayton Hall is the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive the American Revolution and Civil War intact. Seven generations of Drayton heirs preserved the house in all but original condition, though the flanking outbuildings have not survived: an earthquake destroyed the laundry house in 1886 and a hurricane destroyed the kitchen in 1893.
The house has a double projecting (and recessed) portico on the west facade, which faces away from the river and toward the land side approach from Ashley River Road. The double projecting portico resembles a similar feature at Villa Cornaro, a country estate near Venice, Italy, designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in 1551. The floor plan of Drayton Hall is Palladian as well, perhaps derived from Plate 38 of James Gibbs' A Book of Architecture, the influential patternbook published in London in 1728. A large central entrance stair hall with a symmetrical divided staircase is backed by a large saloon, flanked by square and rectangular chambers.. Pedimented chimneypieces in the house are in the tectonic manner popularized by William Kent. There is fine plasterwork in several of the rooms of the main floor, which is set above a raised basement.
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History claims that Drayton Hall is "without question one of the finest of all surviving plantation houses in America".
Drayton Hall is managed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which opened the house to the public in 1977 and presents both sides of the historic plantation economy exemplified by the Draytons, both white and black. The first guide to the house, Drayton Hall, was published in 2005.
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
- ^ a b "Drayton Hall". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=526&ResourceType=Building. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- ^ http://www.draytonhall.org/research/people/drayton_1.html
- ^ South Carolina plantations
- ^ James Gibbs, A Book of Architecture, containing designs of buildings and ornaments (London, 1728; repr. New York, 2008), ISBN 0-486-46601-9.
- ^ Carl I. Gable, "Searching for Sources: What are Drayton Hall's Palladian Roots?" Palladiana: Journal of the Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc., vol. 4, no. 1 (Fall 2009), p. 5.
- ^ Drayton Hall
- ^ James Dillon (August, 1976). PDF (32 KB). National Park Service. and PDF (32 KB)
- ^ "Drayton Hall, Charleston County (S.C. Hwy. 61, Charleston vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina listing. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/charleston/S10817710005/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- Drayton Hall homepage
- The Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc.
- Drayton Hall, Charleston County (S.C. Hwy. 61, Charleston vicinity) (with 37 photographs), at South Carolina Department of Archives and History
- Great Buildings on-line: Drayton Hall
- Historic photographs and plans of the interior
- South Carolina Plantations: Drayton Hall
- Charleston Insider's Guide - Article for visitors to Drayton Hall
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