283 East Bay Charleston SC

283 East Bay Street is a typical “Charleston Single” style house located in downtown Charleston’s historic Ansonborough neighborhood but, like us all, these charming historic homes are often in need of a little TLC. So, do we strip out what is and replace with what’s new? Someone once said to me that “hindsight is only truly clear when we forget the chaos of our daily lives.” Our historic buildings should retain some of that chaos, the lumps and bumps that tell their stories. That is what good preservation is.

In collaboration with Building Art LLC we strive for repairs that someone will look at 100 years from now and restore, even if that’s not aesthetically what the present quite demands. During the renovation of 283 East Bay, we found an old door frame in the house boxed in with sheetrock during one of our renovations. This door frame showcased nice old moldings and a beautiful top light, long ago painted over. It’s now the door to the laundry in place of an ugly 1970’s “improvement.” This is typical in many of these grand historic homes, where along the way, someone perceived modern updates to be better, easier or undoubtedly, “cheaper.”  During any historic restoration, the house begins to tell you a bits and pieces about its past.  Renovations made over time are revealed, as owners changed and needs changed.  We found another window within a wall, an “exterior window,” now “internal” within the house, as the wraparound porch had gradually been built upon, and simply attached onto the original structure.  The key, as you uncover details, is to be nimble in your plans, and find a way to use what is already there.  In this case, we move the bathroom, rework the plans a little and it’s now a working light path to the walk in wardrobe.

It’s my mantra – old is not useless (given I’ve white hair these days it’s probably a good thing).

Note: If you find yourself with a Charleston home that could use a little TLC, give our construction team a call. Our expert team is experienced in restoring, renovating, and preserving the historic homes of downtown Charleston SC to their former glory. We invite you to view the E-book below to learn more:

 

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