503 Market St., Wilmington
HOURS: Wed.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 1–5 p.m.
COST: $10 adults, $4 children 5–12
The Bellamy Mansion is regarded as one of the best examples of antebellum architecture in North Carolina. The 22-room palace was built in 1861 and features 14 exterior Corinthian columns, elaborate cornice moldings, white marble mantles, and ornate brass chandeliers.
Free and enslaved African-American artisans did much of the craftwork and it is believed that some were granted their freedom on the mansion steps.
Behind the mansion is a rebuilt carriage house. Another exterior building is a rare example of urban slave housing. Prior to the start of restoration efforts in 1972, the mansion had been unoccupied since 1946.
The historic home has been restored to its original grandeur and serves as a museum as well as a historic home, offering an ongoing series of rotating exhibits, films, and lectures.