James Simmons House sells for $7.51 million

A Charleston-based buyer has purchased James Simmons House — a pre-Revolutionary home in the oldest neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina.

The house, located at 37 Meeting St., is under contract to be sold for $7.51 million. The transaction was headed by Lyles Geer of Charleston's William Means Real Estate and is now ranked as the second-highest residential sale in the history of downtown Charleston.

"This house is a historic gem in the heart of downtown Charleston," Geer said. "The rare architecture, beautiful gardens, and storied past make this house a classic Charleston home."

James Simmons House was built in the 1760s and was owned by James Simmons, a local lawyer. It measures 8,384 square feet and features a Georgian-era floor plan and a mid-19th century double-breasted addition.

It was used as a principal Confederate headquarters during the Civil War; later, it was owned by Otis Mills, who in the 1800s built Mills House nearby.

In the Great Earthquake of 1886, when Confederate Army leader James O'Conner lived there, James Simmons House sustained major damage — $3,750 dollars worth (which translates to $100,000 today).

The house was owned by the O'Conner family for decades before being obtained by "Cheaper by the Dozen" author Frank Gilbreth. Its exterior was restored in 2000.

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