Come on a walk around tour with me while we visit the boyhood home of the United States’ 28th president, Woodrow Wilson. Located in Columbia, South Carolina, this historic home was just re-opened to the public after undergoing a major restoration project. Just look at it now!
This Queen Anne Victorian style house was built in 1871, but was only home to the Wilson family for about three years. “Tommy” Wilson, as President Wilson was called in his boyhood, moved to North Carolina when his father, a doctor, took a position there in 1874.
The house now belongs to Historic Columbia Foundation, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. HCF had to close the house to public tours in 2005 when structural issues had to be addressed. Reopened in February 2014, the house is available for tours and events.
I just loved this beautiful front door. A double door! And notice the circular detail on the lattice surrounding the porch. The paint colors were carefully studied during the restoration and returned to the original colors.
The photo below is the right side of the house. You can see the front porch on the far left. Wouldn’t it be fun to play on that balcony above the bay window, as a child? I thought the door on the right was interesting, having full-length shutters that actually close.
This view is the left side of the house. No balcony over here.
Another view of the left side of the house, and the rear of the house. I just love that covered porch on the second story. That’s where I would spend all my free time if I lived here! Notice how much more plain the rear of the home is. No bay windows or balconies here. Expensive details like that were always saved for the public side of the house, much as we usually do today.
One detail I love on older homes that I SO wish were still used on modern homes is real, functional shutters, and shutter dogs. Yes, the shutters on this house actually open and close, a nice feature in the very hot South Carolina summers, not to mention when hurricanes roll through. Here is a shutter dog waiting to be used:
On the window just above, on the second floor, you can see a shutter dog in use, holding the shutter open:
One more detail I wanted to share with you are these pretty little rosettes within the brackets at the roof line. If your monitor is dark they might be hard to see, but they’re there. Brackets are a common feature of Victorian architecture.
Victorian architecture factoid: one way to tell the difference between a Queen Anne Victorian home and an Italianate Victorian home (another Victorian sub-style) is that Queen Anne’s have single brackets, like the Woodrow Wilson home, and Italianate’s have double brackets, grouped along the roof line in little pairs.
Thanks so much for joining me in this little walk around of the Woodrow Wilson Home today. Stay tuned, because soon I’ll be sharing the house right next door – and it’s even more elaborate than this one! It has chimneys that look like they’re from a storybook, or a gingerbread house!
Welcome to those of you joining from any of these fine link-ups! I hope you’ll stick around a while.
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