historic restorations

Ansonborough Addition Concept

Addition concept for 19th Century Ansonborough dependency; a parapet wall makes reference to the existing structure while accommodating green roof. We've been working with repeat clients on the renovation and addition to a 19th C. masonry dependency in Charleston's Ansonborough neighborhood.  The owners have shifted their focus to another property further downtown, and so have put this property on the market.  If they are successful, I hope that it brings a new owner who is as excited about the potential for this property as we are.

Built around 1838 after an earlier structure was destroyed by the Great Fire in the same year, 63 Anson Street was build as a dependency to the Susan Robinson House, located at 48 Society Street. Historic preservation easements are held by the Historic Charleston Foundation.  Throughout the design process thus far, we worked closely with the HCF, who has approved the design that we created.

The proposed addition and renovation of this 19th C. Ansonborough dependency locates an eat-in kitchen and living room within the new addition in the rear.

Closing in on Rutledge Renovation: Before and After photos

Its a classic "before and after" post, folks.  So glad to see this old Hampton Park girl in out neighborhood putting herself back together so nicely.  Excellent work by our friends at Yarrum with redeveloping this residence n a way that makes sense for this historic building while suiting 2013 tastes. We're closing in on completion of this renovation. Though not finished, you can see how far 638 Rutledge has come so far. 628 Rutledge rear elevation, before

638 Rutledge rear elevation, renovation in progress. The rear addition has reverted to what we believe its original was: a porch.

Original living room, with dining room beyond door

The original fireplace, restored and modified to be functional, serves as divider of living room from dining room (and kitchen), beyond.

638 Rutledge: the original stair hall was chopped to accommodate a separate entry to the second level.

638 Rutledge, original stair and hall restored, with some additional storage beneath.

638 Rutledge: we found the rear addition with the floor level dropped 3" from the first floor level: a clue that it was originally a porch, later enclosed.

Rear addition reconverted to a porch, now screened, with original collar ties exposed.

638 Rutledge: larger of two front bedrooms at second level.

Larger of two front bedrooms, after

Second floor room, used as rear entry to second level apartment.

Master closet, which will be furnished for clothes storage along wall to right.

Kitchen, before

Side view of new kitchen, with easily accessible office nook to the left. Yarrum did a great job with the custom built cabinetry for the kitchen.

Existing front porch, with concrete slab that sloped slightly toward the house.

It was necessary to completely rebuild both levels of porches from the foundation up to the roof structure and tern metal roofing, which was refurbished.

I came up short with some of the "before" photos.  Below are a few additional images of the current condition of 638 Rutledge, which is nearing completion.

Restored original window, with original weight and chain mechanisms restored and new bronze weatherstripping installed for draft-stopping.

The original clawfoot tub had been restored, with the enamel made to look original without looking new. This will be installed in the guest bath at the second level.

Master shower, with new tile wrapping original kitchen chimney, now forming the side to a new bench seat.

Hampton Park-Area Renovation Proceeds

638 Rutledge Avenue, with newly reconstructed porches completed. Construction on the renovation of 638 Rutledge by Yarrum LLC is proceeding well.  I walked over last night to take some photos of the front elevation in a rare break from the rain.  We've come a long way so far from the condition in which the property was found.  The front porches were completely rebuilt out of necessity, while the standing seam terne metal roof was supporting structure was restored and repainted.  The restored original windows are looking great as well.

638 Rutledge before renovation began.

Second floor, front bedroom at 638 Rutledge.

New bluestone flush hearths installed at renovated first floor fireplace

19th Century Ansonborough Dependency

Much of the masonry will require re-pointing. The lack of mortar within the inside face of the east gable makes this abundantly evident. We have completed the building analysis phase of our commission at 63 Anson Street, in the heart of Charleston's Ansonborough neighborhood.  63 Anson, along with its sister structure at 65 Anson Street, were constructed around 1839 by Mrs. Susan Robinson as dependencies to 48 Society St..

East wall, second level; we will attempt to salvage as much of this plaster as we can given structural recommendations for handling the masonry behind it.

Most of the interior finishes of this simple masonry structure were far too degraded to be salvageable.  Termite and moisture damage made saving even the mantles impossible.  Most of the original wood structure was in salvageable condition, however, with the notable exception of the joists below the east room of the first level. These were sitting directly on dirt in large part and almost completely consumed by termites.

West room, second level; some floor rot from the bathroom occupying this space was evident. However, the joists below are largely intact.

We found the fine bellcast copper roof to be in excellent condition. One might expect copper to remain in good condition, particularly since this appears to have been installed within the last 30 years. However, with the widespread damage to this structure, you can not be sure. While there was some rafter damage, most of this material was found to be intact and in good condition.  This solid substrate below the copper supported it properly, allowing it to remain intact. The copper was done beautifully, with hand-crimped seams of 3/4" ht at 17" on center.

Edge detail of bellcast copper roof at 63 Anson Street, Charleston SC

Typical rafter structure at 63 Anson Street: 3x4 rafters with pegged morticed joints at ridge, and no ridge rafter. Plywood was applied above the original roof deck slats as a substrate for the more recently installed copper roof.

The chimney serving the cooking fireplace in the rear steps over to the center of the ridge before emerging from the roof line.

East gable from below; appropriate mortar will be needed to stabilize it.

The rear of the residence has been consumed by climbing fig. Photo: Harrison Wallace

63 Anson Street; its sister house 65 Anson appears at right. Photo: Harrison Wallace

Ansonborough Commission

63 Anson Street, C. 1939 Never a more termite ridden house I have seen.  There were termites in the drawer boxes and the mantle legs.  The original masonry walls are the only thing keeping this former dependency to 48 Society Street. 48 Society, known as the Susan Robinson house, was owned by the wife of John Robinson, builder of the Aiken Rhett House.

We have our work before us.

New colors for Hampton Park Terrace renovation

625 Rutledge Avenue On the way to the studio this morning, I stopped by 625 Rutledge to take a few photos in the morning light.  The colors were modified some time ago by the owners, and I really like the resulting palette.  This classic Charleston residence near Hampton Park is available.  Check out the listing from Marshall Walker.com here.

View of south elevation at 625 Rutledge Avenue

The original pine decking was stripped and sanded, refinished with a finish that exposes the material.


625 Rutledge Avenue