Manigault was born in Charleston, descended from Huguenots, and studied in Geneva and London. He returned after the American Revolutionary War and introduced the Adamesque style to the city. Manigault's design consisted of a two-story brick building on a very high basement, covered with stucco. A large meeting room and ballroom occupied the second floor. The meeting room also contained a small musician's gallery and a decorative Palladian window, while the ballroom was ornamented with a Neoclassical canopy. In 1825, the portico with Doric and Ionic orders, designed by local architect Frederick Wesner, was added along with the brownstone stairs and iron railings. As a result of damage to the building during the Civil War and the 1886 earthquake the interior was renovated during the Victorian period.