Porcher-Simonds House

Posted by Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 24 July 2014 in Architecture.

Among the many stories told about Charleston that have been greatly exaggerated over the years is the commonly misrepresented “compromise house” tale told of the property at 29 East Battery, the Porcher-Simonds house. In the first place, it should be pronounced as “Porshay”, and with a long “I” as “Seye-monds”. The hyphenated name for the house combines the surname of the man who had it built in 1856, Francis Porcher, and the owner who remodeled it in the 1890’s, John Simonds.

The story that is often told is that the structure’s unusual combination of semi-circular and rectangular piazzas were created as a compromise between husband and wife over shapes they wanted when the house was being built. In fact, when the house was built by Porcher, a wealthy cotton broker, it was designed as a “side-hall” single-house, featuring a single living room wide facing the street, flanked by an open piazza on the south side piazza and an entrance hall on the north side. Original pictures of the house show that it looked very much like the side-hall house next door at 31 East Battery.

Simonds, a wealthy banker, remodeled the house in Victorian style in the 1890’s, and the combination of circular and rectangular piazzas was a popular Italian Renaissance Revival style.

Since 1982, the house has been subdivided as three condominiums, but still has a wonderful look and a view of Charleston harbor that will never be compromised.

Text from Charleston Footprints.

Photo captured May 22, 2014.

All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.

Spotlight Images

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Terrific information Steve, and a nice shot of this lovely looking building

24 Jul 2014 6:52am

Graciel·la (Vic. Catalonia) from CAT. New European State, Poland

It is a curious story with an interesting ending. The building is worth

24 Jul 2014 7:46am

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Une sacrée belle maison avec ces arrondis ces colonnes sueprbe.

24 Jul 2014 9:26am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Fascinating story to go with this most unusual streetscape!

24 Jul 2014 10:05am

Malaura from France

Très intéressantes informations sur ce très beau bâtiment. Une bien belle image. Amicalement :)

24 Jul 2014 10:56am

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine shot of this creative design. Amazing style.

24 Jul 2014 3:45pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Beautiful photo of this superb house and interesting story .

24 Jul 2014 4:05pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Lovely image

24 Jul 2014 5:48pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I remember seeing this on my first trip to Charleston in March. Looking forward to more.

24 Jul 2014 7:16pm

Mohammad/Navvab from shiraz, Iran

a nice captured
so nice frame

24 Jul 2014 9:06pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

No way the compromise story could be true. The wife would win the argument. A beautiful image of this grand house.

24 Jul 2014 9:09pm

Diana from San Francisco, United States

Very nice framed, So interesting for the middle tree has different color. Well done.

25 Jul 2014 12:24am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very niec shot!
such beautiful frame, colors & lighting!
Lovely !

25 Jul 2014 12:29am

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

What a beautiful house! Gorgeous architecture! I think I like the story about the husband and wife! That is pretty funny! Wonderful information!

25 Jul 2014 2:01am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

A lovely place with spot-on perspective in your shot.

25 Jul 2014 2:02am


Nikon D7000
1/250 second
ISO 125
27 mm (35mm equiv.)


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