Civil War Era Wrought Iron Gates leading to Antebellum Stable Carriage
The William Gibbes House is a historic house at 64 South Battery in Charleston, South Carolina. Built about 1772, it is one of the nation's finest examples of classical Georgian architecture. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
The Gibbes House is set on the north side of South Battery, at the southern end of the historic Charleston peninsula. It is a two-story wood frame structure, set on a high stone foundation. It is covered by a hip roof with a front-facing gable, and is sheathed in wooden clapboard siding. The main facade is five bays wide, with a central main entrance that is accessed by stairs descending from the landing on either side, and a service entrance in the basement level between the stairs, set in a segmented-arch opening. The main entrance is set under a broad modillioned pediment, which is supported by four pilasters, with wide sidelight windows between the outer pairs. First-floor windows are framed by pedimented lintels and bracketed sills, while the second-floor windows have flatter cornices. The main roof line is modillioned, as is the gable above, which has a round window at its center.
The interior follows a plan known in Charleston as a "double house". It has four rooms on each floor, two on each side of a central hall, which is an elaborately decorated space with a columned arch and a staircase with a Civil War-era wrought iron railing. Most of its interior stylings are not Georgian but Adamesque, the result of a 1794 restyling. The south parlor spaces are fully paneled. On the second floor is a ballroom with a cove ceiling adorned with plaster medallions and corner fans.
The house lot was purchased by William Gibbes in 1772, and would at that time have included waterfront access. The house was probably built soon afterward, and was certainly completed by 1779. The Smith family purchased the house in 1794, and remodeled portions Adamesque style, including the marble steps in front. The wrought iron balustrade and lantern standards in front are considered among the best ironwork of the Adamesque period in Charleston. After the Civil War, the house was acquired by the widow of Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge; she extended the building to the north in 1928.
October 16th, 2016
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