Fodor's Expert Review Aiken-Rhett House Museum
A prime example of the wealth derived from chattel slavery, the Aiken-Rhett House is considered one of the best preserved town-house complexes in the country. Built in 1820 and virtually unaltered since 1858, it boasts original wallpaper, paint, and some furnishings. Two of the former owners, Governor Aiken and his wife Harriet, bought many of the chandeliers, sculptures, and paintings in Europe. The carriage house remains out back, along with a building that contained the kitchen, laundry, and housing for enslaved laborers, making this the most intact property to showcase urban life in pre–Civil War Charleston. Be sure to take the audio tour, as it vividly describes the surroundings, giving historical and family details throughout.