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Drayton’s Palace

By Linda Tancs

Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, has a storied history. Home to one of the state’s leading colonial families, it was founded by John Drayton, was later saved from destruction during the Civil War by Dr. John Drayton and witnessed the presence of German Jaegers during the Revolutionary War. Known in the 1700s as Drayton’s Palace, it’s the first fully executed example of Palladian architecture in North America. The house is set amidst a lush riverside garden and the great lawn, landscaped as an expression of an 18th-century gentleman’s country seat. The home hasn’t been furnished or decorated to represent any particular era but it has been preserved in its natural state, the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. New this year is the Sally Reahard Visitor Center, including an orientation hall, education center and exhibition galleries. Professionally guided house tours begin on the half hour and last 50 minutes.

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