Roper House, built in 1838 on the recently completed High Battery, commands a sweeping view of the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. The view looks past Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, and on to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Built by prominent cotton planter Robert William Roper, the house is an outstanding example of early 19th Century Greek Revival architecture in a city better known for its 18th Century Georgian-style architecture. Roper House is built on a monumental scale, with massive, two-story-high Ionic columns raised above a first floor, arched loggia pedestal base. Ceiling heights are 18 feet on the piano nobile, with tall windows extending to the floor. The piazza, opening off the double parlors, has the finest view in Charleston.
It is said that Mr. Roper intended his showcase home to be the first residence seen by visitors approaching Charleston from the sea. The architect of this imposing house is undocumented, but some architectural historians have attributed its design to Karl Friedrich Reichert, a highly regarded German who was working in Charleston at the time on the new Charleston Hotel. This was the city’s largest and most fashionable hotel built in the Greek Revival style. Reichert had studied in Berlin under Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Germany’s preeminent neoclassical architect of the early 19th Century.
What’s Going On at Roper House
A launch party to celebrate the publication of the latest issue of the Classicist (No. 13) The American South was held at the Roper House last Autumn. Click here to see photos from the event. Visit the ICAA to purchase a beautifully printed copy of the Classicist, or check back here for a digital copy available soon.
Read “Building a Legacy” about Dick Jenrette’s dedication to preservation, published in The Post and Courier.
Richard H. Jenrette’s book about the Roper House is now available for order. Columns by the Sea: The Roper House takes a closer look at this National Landmark and National Registered Historic Place with full-page images of the house and its collection.
This book will be a great addition to your library and a wonderful companion to the other CAHPT publications, not to mention a favorite gift for a friend.