Historic House Listings

The history! The beauty! Capers-Motte House, Circa 1745! Charleston, South Carolina. $9,995,000

January 29, 2020

The history with this house is amazing! So is the beauty of it! The Capers-Motte House was built by Richard Capers in 1745. It is located on .29 acres in Charleston, South Carolina. It was then purchased by Colonel Jacob Motte. He served as treasurer of the Colony for 27 years. Meetings of the Common House of Assembly were held in the second floor drawing room. In 1778 Colonel James Parsons occupied the house. He was a member of the Continental Congress and had been offered the vice presidency of South Carolina before the formation of the United States. During the Civil War the house was extensively damaged. Then in 1869 the widow Eliza Middleton Huger Smith purchased the home and restored it. Seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and 8,524 square feet. $9,995,000

From the Zillow listing:


69 Church Street is one of the largest pre-Revolutionary houses in the city, with a grand estate lot stretching back to Ford’s Court. Historically and architecturally significant, this Category 1 Georgian double house was built circa 1745, and is notable for its stunning ballroom, drawing room, cypress paneled library, 15 fireplaces, King of Prussia marble fireplace surrounds, delft tiles, bespoke woodwork and moldings, and stucco over brick exterior. The interior reflects the best of both the Georgian and Federal periods, embodying extraordinary examples of fine woodwork throughout on mantles, wainscoting, moldings, and 9 over 9 double sash windows which flood the home with beautiful natural light. The main house follows a traditional double house format, with four principal rooms on each floor, with a centrally located stair hall elegantly rising for four floors.


Soaring 11’+ ceilings on three floors and stunning second floor double reception rooms/ballroom complete the grandeur. An unusual feature is that the third-floor ceilings and windows are the same height as those on the first two floors. All bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, another rarity in a historic home. The kitchen building, connected to the main house by a hyphen and butler’s pantry, houses a period style kitchen and den, overlooking the gardens through lancet arched windows. There are two bedrooms with two full baths in the original kitchen house, perfect for children, guests, or live-in staff. Located on picturesque Church Street, this house is on one of the highest elevations in the old walled city.


Once you step into the home, you are struck by how private and quiet it is. It flows fabulously for entertaining yet retains intimate spaces for reflection and retreat. This large property (.29 acre) has five exquisitely landscaped garden rooms, all surrounded by high brick walls for privacy. Heirloom camelia bushes are large and abundant. The secret garden is charming. Hidden through an opening through towering podocarpus, the large oval pool, one of the first downtown, is set among lush gardens and Gothic-Revival-inspired privies, one of which houses a pool powder bath. A covered trellis room is a focal point at the end of the pool. The far garden room, dominated by pomegranates and citrus, opens onto Ford’s Court and has additional off-street parking. The fine property has been the home of several notable South Carolinians.


Let them know you saw it on Old House Life!