If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I’m headed to Charleston, South Carolina in early December with my friend Dina. I have never been to Charleston but I already know I’m going to love it. I’m currently putting together my list of restaurants, historic houses, and hotels to visit. One house I would die to tour is the Isaac Jenkins Mikell House which is otherwise known to Southern Charm fans as the home of the grande dame of Charleston, Patricia Altschul.
The Greek Revival house on Rutledge Avenue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 and was built in 1853-1854 by Edisto Island cotton planter Isaac Jenkins Mikell for his third wife, Mary Martha Pope. “The house was bought in 1935 by the Charleston Free Library and served as a public library until the early 1960s when it was sold and restored as a private residence.” It was purchased by Patricia in 2008 for $4.8 million and underwent an extensive restoration and decoration by famed interior designer Mario Buatta.
“The southern facade (overlooking Montagu Street) is dominated by a pedimented portico with six columns with Composite capitals carved from cypress and ornamented with rams’ heads. In addition to the main house, there is a kitchen building and separate coach house on the premises.”
Mario Buatta had previously decorated a New York apartment and Long Island home for Patricia and her husband Arthur Altschul. After his death, Patricia decided to move to Charleston and much of the furniture and decorations from those homes ended up in this house.
If you are not watching Souther Charm, you are missing out on the outré things that Patricia says and more views of her amazing home. She’s also writing a book, The Art of Southern Charm, which is due to be released on my birthday next year. I’m going to have to see if she can give me an in person tutorial during my visit as an early present. Patricia is also an Aries whose birthday is two days before mine so it’s quite fitting that there are rams heads atop the columns of her house.
Patricia’s home was featured in Architectural Digest in September 2014 and you can find more information and all the credits here.