Pre-Revolutionary War James Simmons Estate Sold for the Second-Highest Amount Ever

37_MeetingThe pre-Revolutionary “James Simmons House,” which dates back to 1760s, served as the principal Confederate headquarters during the Civil War and it recently sold for the second-highest amount ever for a piece of residential property located in peninsular Charleston. The house has survived two wars.

Located at 37 Meeting St., the stately gray mansion sold for $7.51 million. The house is guarded by ornate iron gates, and peninsula residents Robert and Melissa Smith bought the home after deciding to relocate. Robert Smith, who founded and control one of the nation’s largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., purchased the 8,384-square-foot residence from by William and Nancy Longfield. The Longfields purchased the house for nearly $7.4 million in 2009, which was the highest ever in downtown Charleston. The estate sale comes in second to the sale of The Colonel John Ashe House at 32 South Battery at $7.72 million.

“This house is a historic gem in the heart of downtown Charleston,” said Lyles Geer of William Means Real Estate, according to The Post and Courier. “The rare architecture, beautiful gardens and storied past make this house a classic Charleston home.”

At one time, the James Simmons House was the most expensive house sold in Charleston (sold for $7.37 million in May 2009). It’s likely built for a lawyer by the name of James Simmons in 1760. The house was acquired by Robert Gibbes in 1775, following Simmons’ death. The home has changed quite a few times. Owned by the prominent former Colonial governor Robert Gibbes, antebellum writer Louisa Cheves, hotel owner Otis Mills, Gen. Pierre Beauregard, and Congressman Michael P. O’Conner. Also, during wartime, the estate was used as the headquarters of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, commander of the Confederate forces in Charleston.

The pre-Revolutionary War home has Georgian-era floor plans, a central hall, and four formal rooms. The house was badly injured in an earthquake in 1886, sustaining $3,750 (equivalent to $100,000 today) worth of damage to the exterior walls and chimneys. The house underwent major restoration in 2000, acquainted it with the high-end market.