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The Calhoun Mansion, Charleston
(3/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
Built for one man, George W. Williams, The Calhoun Mansion has over 30 rooms. The house was converted to a hotel in 1914 and renovated in the 1970s by a private owner. Today you'll see the house returned to its former glory. Purchase a ticket by entering the gift shop through the back door and heading up the stairs. Tours take place every hour and include a guide who shares the house's quirky stories. Put The Calhoun Mansion on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Charleston vacation generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • If seeing a house crammed full of some eclectic collectors junk excites you, then this is the place for you. It's passed off as what a gilded age home would look like in the late 1800's, but it more c...  more »
  • Was amazed at how well the house looked,have been to quite a few, but this place was very exquisite . Don't miss this mansion. It sets the standard for all the others 
  • We were walking by and they were starting a tour so we joined in and I am so glad we did. Well worth the money spent. The house is not only restored but the owners have their own eclectic collection o...  more »
Google
  • Ok. Most of these negative reviews totally miss the point. This is an amazing home built at the height of the Victorian period and this type of ornamentation and decoration is spot on in its authenticity. Victorian may not be your cup of tea, but if you are an art historian or just an historical enthusiast of any sort, you know that this sort of display of wealth, culture and influence was definitely in line with the nouveau riche of the day. I love this home. I saw it through all of its stages - back in the 80's - 90's when it was owned by the young lawyer who took on its total renovation, when the bare bones were visible and then came back time and again to see what he'd done and how far he'd come - so glad he took on the project. And now, my family and I have seen the home through the current owner's eyes. It's a different vision, sure, but it's authentic and appropriate as a representation of what was going on in Charleston at the time. The original owner had the money to 'wow' everyone with his vision of a post-Civil War home. He was displaying his wealth on a grand scale and no matter if it is an unusual home amongst all of the 'beautiful ladies' on the peninsula, it deserves to be represented as a snapshot of the times so soon after the Civil War had ended. Kudos to the current owner who has taken on a worthy project and allows people to come in and see a spectacular home, lovingly curated and cared for. And make no mistake...it is a worthy project that is very costly to undertake. Definitely worth the admission price to know it goes back into upkeep and restoration.
  • Very cool experience and knowledgeable staff! House is filled with amazing artifacts and trinkets collected by the now owner over the years. So much amazing craftsmanship and attention to detail
  • The actual structure is beautiful but don't be fooled - it's not worth $16 per person. The tour guide started the tour with a ten minute spiel about how this was the 'Oh my God house, where more is more is more is more'. He said this about ten times. And true to his word, it really was the 'Oh my God' house. The whole time I was thinking 'Oh my God, how did I get suckered into wasting my money on this?' The tour lasted about 45 minutes and all you get to do is stand in the first and second floor hallways. You don't get to go into any of the rooms. None of the furniture or decoration is original to the house. Literally every inch is covered with gaud (expensive gaud, to be sure. My favorite was the mounted baboon and zebra heads). The tour guide said it took 7 tractor trailer loads when the owner moved in, but if he were to move out today it would take 12 tractor trailer loads to move everything out. If you want to pay money to see one hoarders stuff or if hearing over and over again about how rich the 'international litigation attorney' owner is and how lavish his private parties are, then this is the house for you! If you enjoy historic homes, look elsewhere. Charleston is full of them, but this isn't one.
  • As someone who received a BA in History from NC State University, I found this place appalling. Does this guy have some cool things? sure. But to market this tour as a tour of a historic mansion is very misleading. Let's call a spade a spade...this place is just a rich hoarders attempt to get you to love his stuff as much as he apparently does. It's terrible. Perhaps if we didn't pay $16 per person, it wouldn't be so bad. The guide informs you of the hoarding only after you have paid. The structure of the house was beautiful, but most of that was hidden behind giant statues from various places and eras, exotic animal heads, and under tons of china/silver. Seriously, every inch of the wall and every table was covered with stuff. Plus you only get to see a few rooms. Mostly, I was extremely annoyed that some of this artifacts are historically important, but are not properly preserved...like an Asian tapestry from the 15th century that he just had hanging on the wall where the humidity could break down the fibers and anyone could touch the bottom corner. It was terrible and I don't recommend anyone wasting their time or money here.
  • The biggest waist of money on our vacation. There are people living there and they only let you see about 10 percent of the house all they talk about is the antiques that the current owner has purchased. Very little discussion about history.