It’s not quite known when construction began, but the building was completed by the summer of 1886, as there is evidence of repairs of damage caused by the great earthquake of August, 1886. The cost of the house has been estimated at more than $200,000 in the 1880s. A leading Charleston contractor has said that it would be impossible today to build an exact replica because many of the materials found within the home are unobtainable, as are the services of artisans to do the work.
The entrance hallway, which runs from the front of the building to the rear, is paved with beautiful colored English tiles. On the right of the hallway are double parlor doors with carved plaster ceilings and two magnificent matching Austrian imported crystal chandeliers. The handsomely crafted carved mantels are the work of Emile T. Viett, a noted marble and stone worker of the day, who carved them on site. There is an abundance of hand-carved mahogany woodwork in the two parlors.
On the east side of the hallway was a library, a large staircase in oak, and a dining room. On the second floor and third floors were bedrooms and a school room where the Rodgers’ children studied under a tutor. The top story had a billiard room.
A three-story servants’ quarters made up the east wing of the house. The Rodgers heirs sold the house in 1920 to the Scottish Rite Cathedral Association
, which then sold it to the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company
on May 31, 1940. The home was later sold in 1996 to Richard Widman, the President of Charming Inns Inc
. The changes consist of partitions strategically placed, the enclosure of the first, second and third floor balconies, the installation of air conditioning (thank goodness!) and the elevator in the early 1940s.
The magnificent mansion has been completely renovated and is presently open for guests from around the world. This remarkable edifice offers Southern charm and professional service unsurpassed in historic downtown Charleston. Amenities available for guests’ enjoyment include a daily full service breakfast at Circa 1886
, afternoon tea, and wine and hors d’oeuvres. The Wentworth Mansion has 21 guest rooms which feature king beds, intricate architectural details, antiques, fireplaces, and whirlpool baths. The cupola, (my favorite feature!), overlooks exquisitely manicured gardens within the city estate. Twenty-four hour concierge service is available for guests, assisting with the area’s other premier restaurant reservations, tours, and a wide variety of entertainment.
If you are fortunate enough to be a guest at this wonderful mansion, do not forget to capture the Holy City’s sunset from on high.
If you’re a guest of my Outer Banks Film Locations tour
and wish to drive by this stunning hotel, just ask me and I’m happy to include an extended tour at the end. I’ll even include a few of the characters on Bravo’s Southern Charm and show you where they live(d) just a stone’s throw away.