The House With The Red Door: Kinloch Huger House

Guests who book my Love Stories of Charleston walking tour are always impressed with the house with the red door — the Kinloch Huger House, located at 8 Legare Street in the Historic District of Charleston, SC. Many say it reminds them of the Haunted House at Disneyland! Perhaps it’s the coloring? The unfinished stucco? The imposing wrought iron gate? The signature sculpture bust atop the front door? Or, possibly all of the above. Whatever the reason for its beauty, I’m glad it all comes together and is truly one of my favorite places to visit in Charleston.

While Charleston is filled with fabulous residences, almost too many to count, there’s just something extra special about the entrance to this grand manor. The property was originally the rear portion of the Miles Brewton House at 27 King Street, (also a featured stop on this tour), and when Miles Brewton died in 1791, the recipients of his house conveyed it to William Alston who left it to his daughter, Mary Alston, later Mary Alston Pringle. Years later, when her daughter married Cleland H. Huger, the Legare Street section of the property was pared off and the couple used it as their house.

The house was built in 1857, most likely by Patrick O’Donnell, in the Italianate style. (His house at 21 King Street is also featured on this walking tour!) 

In the 20th century, it then became home to Charleston Mayor Burnet Rhett Maybank who later served as Governor of South Carolina and Senator in the U.S. Senate. Mrs. Maybank is said to have been responsible for giving President Franklin D. Roosevelt his first Works Progress Administration project — the resurrection of the beloved Dock Street Theatre. Whenever I pass by the home, I imagine FDR enjoying himself inside in the second floor drawing room, where he visited many times.

At certain times of the year, tours are open to the public of this  remarkable house. I’m told inside you’ll find drawing rooms with the original pocket doors, lovely marble mantelpieces, and of course the always-dreamy, original gas-lit chandeliers. Someday, I hope to venture inside!

Even the holly bush planted next to the front door seems to add a touch of whimsy to its welcoming aspect.


To see the Kinloch Huger House up close, visit my tour page to learn more or call me at 843.806.9915.


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