Wickliffe (Lucas) House

John Hume Lucas House
Many people from long-time Charleston families have attended formal parties at the Wickliffe House on Ashley Avenue. The 1850 house is now property of the Medical University of South Carolina, and is rented out for weddings and other formal functions that rekindle memories of the grand balls that epitomized society in the antebellum South.
The house was built by rice planter John Hume Lucas, whose family owned Hopsewee Plantation on the banks of the Santee River. Hopsewee had been home to Thomas Lynch, Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was sold to Lucas in 1844. Like many wealthy rice planters, Lucas spent the hotter Summer months in Charleston to avoid the swarms of mosquitoes along the Santee River delta.
When the Lucas(Wickliffe) house was built, it stood overlooking the Ashley River, and was cooled by the prevailing westerly breezes that blow through Charleston. Across the street, the Lucas family was entertained by marching soldiers at the Federal arsenal, which would later become home to Porter Military Academy, the now the Medical University.
Although the waterfront area has long been filled in and is now crowded with towering hospitals and research facilities, the old house retains its antebellum aura with grand piazzas overlooking a still-substantial property, and inside, massive ballrooms where the cream of Charleston society once mingled.

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