Charleston, SC 29401
The Middleton-Pinckney House is a historic three-story masonry home built on a raised basement. Construction of the house began around 1796 by Mrs. France Motte Middleton, and was completed by her and her second husband, Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney, whom she married in 1797.
The Middleton-Pinckney House sat on a bluff beside a large creek to the north that was later filled to accommodate Calhoun Street. The house was based on the Neoclassical style with stucco over brick. The hipped roof has a polygonal front projection which provides oval rooms on each floor and a truncated rear projection that contains a winding staircase. The main entrance is in a portal on the basement level and is framed by white marble columns and a simple marble entablature. Marble flat arches top the six-over-six light windows on the George Street facade with fan shaped voussoirs. Two marble belt courses break the vertical lines at the upper stories.
In 1880 the building was sold to the Water Works Company which later became the Charleston Commissioners of Public Works (CPW). The CPW constructed a reservoir at the rear of the site. The reservoir was later converted for use as a public swimming pool until it was closed in the 1960s. A two million-gallon capacity pump and offices occupied the main house. A water tower stood on the west side of the house.
In 1988, the house became the location of the headquarters of the Spoleto Festival USA. The City of Charleston donated the house to the festival in 2002, which then undertook a rehabilitation of the property.