Nathaniel Russell House Controversy

Posted By Bill Payer on Jan 3, 2024 | 0 comments


“The Nathaniel Russell House is an architecturally distinguished, early 19th-century house at 51 Meeting Street in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Built in 1808 by wealthy merchant and slave trader Nathaniel Russell, it is recognized as one of the United States’ most important neoclassical houses.” Wikipedia

The Nathaniel Russell House is one of two house/museums owned and operated by the Historic Charleston Foundation (the other is the Rhett/Aiken House) and is considered a gem of preservation of local history and historic craftsmanship.

Which is a major reason why the Foundation’s announcement it was going to “transition ownership” has caused quite an uproar in the preservationist community. DIHS is not taking a stance on this question but finds the ongoing conversation vital to anyone concerned about preserving the past and sharing it with future generations. If you haven’t been following the issue, there’s a range of links below that illustrate both the fervor and importance of the conversation it has set off.

National Register listing of the Nathaniel Russell House

Commentary: Historic Charleston Foundation evolving to meet challenges Op-Ed by HCF, P&C, November 28, 2023

Change.org petition asking Historic Charleston Foundation to reconsider sale

Historic Charleston Foundation’s plans to sell Nathaniel Russell House provokes backlash P&C, December 13, 2023

UPDATE 12/19: Nathaniel Russell House Museum  Historic Charleston Foundation response to outcry

Behre: One of Charleston’s grandest house museums, Nathaniel Russell House, to be sold Robert Behre op-ed, Post & Courier, December 9, 2023

Hogan: As it lay dying, a last-gasp requiem for the Nathaniel Russell House Museum Maura Hogan column, P&C, December 15, 2023

Commentary: Nathaniel Russell House still has much more to teach us P&C op-ed, December 21, 2023

Editorial: Keep Nathaniel Russell House’s doors open to all of us P&C, January 1, 2024

There have also been many letters to the editor of the P&C about the sale. CLICK HERE for a small sample.

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