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The Lace House

History, Architecture and Antiques


There is something unique about hosting a special event in a historical home. The Lace House has architectural character that cannot be found elsewhere. Began in 1854 and completed in 1855, the Lace House was the home of Thomas and Mary Caldwell Robertson, the youngest daughter of John Caldwell, who resided next door in the Caldwell-Boylston home. John Caldwell was president of the South Carolina Railroad and gave the land for the Lace House to his daughter as a wedding gift. The house was designed by a French architect who designed homes in New Orleans and is of the French architectural style.

The Lace House boasts its original intricate ironwork, ornamental cornices, parquet floors, figured glass doors and brass chandeliers. This original architecture is part of what makes the Lace House such a sought after event venue. The Lace House was acquired in 1968 by the state through the efforts of First Lady Mrs. Robert E. McNair. A restoration was completed under the direction of Mrs. John C. West, and the home became the official guest house of the Governor’s Mansion, accommodating overnight guests of the Governor and providing extra space for official functions of the Governor and his administration.

In 2001, keeping with the administration's belief in maximizing the value of state assets, the Lace House was reopened for use by the public for weddings, parties, lectures and other revenue generating functions. A modest interior refurbishment was completed in 2004 to adapt the historic home for contemporary use.

The upstairs of the Lace House boasts a “Bride’s Room” which features the field bed of Arthur Middleton, one of South Carolina’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. This bed was taken on his military campaigns during the Revolutionary War. There is also a “Groom’s Room” upstairs filled with prints of native South Carolina birds and waterfowl. The Bride and Groom suites make the house a memorable place to host your special day. The main level of the Lace House holds the piano of Sarah Porter Smith Boylston and is often used by brides as a gift table. Most furnishings have been previously used in the Governor’s Mansion. Many have been donated through the years.