Drayton Hall Furniture Featured in The Post and Courier

Check out today’s edition of The Post and Courier for a feature on Drayton Hall’s furniture collection and an interview with Carter Hudgins, director of preservation and education. There are 26 objects from Drayton Hall that will be on display at Colonial Williamsburg starting February 15 in an exhibit titled “A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South.”

2 thoughts on “Drayton Hall Furniture Featured in The Post and Courier

  1. It is a shame to see what the state has done to this very historical landmark. I was fortunate enough to see the estate in 1972. The very unfortunate fact was that the family that inherited the estate was unable to afford the taxes and as a result donated the property to the state. The home was in a condition as if the owners had just up and left one day. The historical paintings, clothes, library and all that you could imagine were still in tact. As I look at the photos on this site it looks as if all the comforts that make a house a home have been stripped. It is just a shell of the beauty that would leave a person speechless at first site.
    Well I guess something is better than nothing but there was a day when this beautiful plantation would not only speak to you but shout out the beautiful history of life in the south. God Bless. G.J.

    • In 1974, Drayton Hall was purchased by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Charleston Foundation with assistance from the state of South Carolina. Since its acquisition, the National Trust, a non-profit, member-supported organization, has retained 125 acres of the original tract along with the historic house. The remaining 550 acres of marsh land is held in a trust by South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. The house was never donated to the state of South Carolina, but rather sold to the National Trust and Historic Charleston Foundation.

      Drayton Hall is in near-original condition. The Draytons never modernized the house with electricity, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning. The Drayton family owned the house from the time it was built until 1974, when they sold it to the non-profit organizations previously mentioned. Rather than restoring the house to reflect a single period of history, the National Trust made the landmark decision to preserve the site as it was received from the Draytons in 1974. Many of the pieces of furniture you saw in the house in the early 1970s were items that belong to the Drayton family in their private collection. Because the house is preserved and was never modernized with climate control, we cannot display furniture and fine arts inside the house. However, we do have a collection of fine arts, decorative objects, and furniture that have been given by the family or purchased by the National Trust. Some of these historical objects such as an 18th century desk and bookcase or a Charleston-made clothespress are currently being conserved at Colonial Williamsburg. Our long-term plans include building an interpretive center on the site where we can display our collection.

      Since the 1970s, our staff has worked to keep the house in a solid and stabilized condition. Preservationists have worked to stabilize areas that were in danger of failing and that posed dangers to visitors and staff. Preservation professionals and structural engineers worked to strengthen the flooring in the upper great hall, reattach the great hall’s cast-plaster ceiling, and replace the deteriorating metal roof. Through this work, we have successfully kept the house’s architectural details authentic and intact. Drayton Hall contains rare examples of 18th century hand-carved plaster and woodwork inspired by English pattern books and Andrea Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture. People from all over the world visit Drayton Hall and are overwhelmed by the extraordinary architectural details in a house that has survived for 275 years. We hope you will visit Drayton Hall and take advantage of everything this National Historic Landmark has to offer.

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