“My second trip here, it is still just a house. Dollar for dollar, go to Middleton instead.”
It was better this time. There was a groupon for locals for very little money. Otherwise I would not have returned. The fact they charge so much confuses me. Middleton is slightly more money but has at least a day of things to see. Drayton is a house tour. If you need to go to Drayton, know this:
1. There is a 45-60 minutes house tour
2. The house is unfurnished, and left in ruin untouched since the 1960. That has both pros and cons, but makes it less interesting as you go room to room.
3. Your value in the tour will depend on your tour guide. Its short because the rooms are pretty much the same. Since time is short, much is skipped about the Drayton past and history of the area. Middleton does a much better job in this and all other areas.
4. Middleton is the best, but Drayton is better than Magnolia. Magnolia is pretty much a tourist trap.
5. There are two short walking trails that are ok.
6. The house is collapsing (google that) after a cheap renovation around WW2. There are parts that are off limits and many parts are pulled back for repair, especially in the front.
7. It would make a decent tour for those in architecture in both how things were built long ago, and bad concrete and rebar rehabs from the last 50-75 years.
I don't so much have a problem with Drayton, its just that I have seen them all and this one is $$$ and will likely cut a visit short somewhere better. Just my opinion.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 13, 2013
We regret that you were dissatisfied with your experience and found little to enjoy at Drayton Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Since opening to the public in 1974, Drayton Hall has been celebrated for its iconic architecture, house tour, historic landscape with nature walks and self-guided tour on DVD, 1790s African-American cemetery and interactive history program, museum shop, and more.
Report response as inappropriate
Despite your interpretation, Drayton Hall is not in a state of ruin. Far from it, it is actually in a rare state of preservation: that is, in nearly original condition as when the first-generation of Draytons moved in when the home was completed in the mid-18th century. Drayton Hall’s Preservation Department is committed to the house's long-term preservation. Our preservation philosophy is to preserve Drayton Hall as it was received from the Drayton family in 1974 by following best practices and applying professional techniques in conservation and stabilization. Working with some of the best craftspeople in the country, we maintain the house at a high level of preservation.
We don’t know where you received your information that the house is collapsing. According to a recent assessment by an independent, contracted structural engineer, the house is not collapsing, nor is there an immediate fear of it doing so. The current investigation by our professional preservation staff in conjunction with the structural engineer is focused on the long-term preservation of the house and its iconic portico. The areas that are off-limits are for your safety while work is being completed. Perhaps you did not remember from your house tour, but the house is quite old – several centuries, in fact. Structures this old require constant work, and we take the job quite seriously. As for your assertion about the bad "concrete and rebar rehabs," concrete has a lifespan of roughly 75 years. We are conducting a structural assessment not because the work was done poorly, but because the components of the work are well over their average lifespan.
Regarding our admissions fee: you should know that at $18 for an all-inclusive adult admission ($8 for youths 12-18; $6 for children 6 to 11; free for children under 5, and an optional $8 grounds-only ticket), the cost is actually quite competitive when you stop and compare it with other sites in the Charleston area – in fact, this is frequently mentioned in our visitor feedback. Even at these reasonable rates, we also offer additional opportunities for our visitors to save even more through year ‘round discounts for AAA members, military, and families with children, as well as free admission for teachers, military, firefighters, police and EMS every summer. We also participate in Smithsonian Museum Day, the last Saturday in September, which provides free admission to all of our visitors. Of course, our nearly 7,000 members in the Friends of Drayton Hall enjoy unlimited free admission throughout the year.
If you would like to discuss any of these points further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.