William Gibbes House and Garden



United States

William Gibbes House and Garden

Located on South Battery, the William Gibbes House was built circa 1772 by William Gibbes, one of Charleston’s wealthiest Colonial merchant-planters. Mrs. Washington (Cornelia) Roebling purchased the property in 1928, and hired Loutrel Briggs to “restore” the grounds. With Mrs. Roebling’s direction, Briggs’s design was based on remnants of an earlier garden that existed on the site and in the historic tradition of other Charleston gardens. This is thought to be his first garden in Charleston.

A significant feature of Briggs’s design was a formal rose garden based on an eighteenth century parterre garden that remained on the grounds. Other features of the design included an enclosed flagstone terrace at the rear of the house, and a long axial walk that extended from the terrace to an historic summerhouse located at the back of the property. In the northeast corner of the grounds, Briggs designed a large formal garden with a central pool and fountain, boxwood bordered beds, along with shrubs, trees and seasonal plantings. The property is privately owned and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1970.

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