Jonathan Lucas House

286 Calhoun St., Charleston, South Carolina


Jonathan Lucas House, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Jonathan Lucas House, built between 1803 and 1809, is an excellent example of the Adamesque style of architecture. Particularly notable are the fine entrance doorway and the winding staircase, woodwork and plaster work of the interior. The builder was a member of a prominent lowcountry family of mill builders and rice planters, and initiated technical advancements in rice milling which helped establish it as a major industry in America and Europe. As well as being the main family residence, the house served as headquarters for a complex of rice and lumber mills which Jonathan Lucas, Jr. and his family operated on the present grounds of Roper Hospital. The three-story house is five bays wide and four bays deep with a low hip roof concealed by a parapet. All construction is of brick and stuccoed. The main portion of the house has a heavy cornice with foliated modillions and a frieze with dentils. Front fašade is dominated by three tiers of piazzas, with fluted Doric columns on the basement and first levels and fluted Ionic columns on the second level; balustrades with urn-shaped balusters on the first and second levels, and cornices with dentils on the first and second levels. A double flight of marble steps, with iron railings and a rusticated masonry base, ascends to the first piazza level. The entrance has an elaborate door surround with elliptical fanlight, sidelights, and rich Adamesque ornamentation. Listed in the National Register February 23, 1978. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1978
Reference number
NR name
Lucas, Jonathan, House
Architectural styles
Other architectural type; Federal; Adamesque
Areas of significance
Industry; Architecture; Social History; Invention
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1800-1824
Significant years
1803; 1809; 1887

Update Log 

  • January 26, 2016: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • August 18, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 16, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Corrected "GPS Coordinates" and Added "Street View" & "Description"
  • July 16, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller