Sullivans Island, South Carolina holds a treasure trove of historic homes for those in love with the charm of days gone by. And 1714 Middle Street could be considered the greatest gem of this small, island town’s historic treasury.
Once a Post Exchange and Recreation Hall for Fort Moultrie soldiers of the US. Army in the early 1900′s, this historic property now serves a quieter, more humble purpose, but in it holds stories and warm memories from the past and present. Last week, I was fortunate enough to photograph this magnificent piece of Sullivan’s Island history, and its porches too. It will be hitting the market in a few days, so more photos will come soon, along with links to more information about this amazing Sullivans Island property for sale.
Naturally, the front porch is grand and I could imagine uniformed soldiers walking through the front doors with dates on their arm, excited for a dance or a social in the recreation hall. The entirety of this property – all 7,581 square feet of it – has been converted to a truly charming, single-family home. I know, I didn’t think anything of this size could be described as charming, but the recreation hall makes up nearly half of the square footage, and the rest of the home was so thoughtfully restored that the home feels warm, and more importantly, centralized. In so many “massive” homes I have photographed, each easily becomes a maze for guests, winding from room to room. This home is NOT one of these labyrinths.
In fact, I told the owner that one of the things I loved most about his home was that EVERYTHING about the restoration is logical. What I mean by that is, the floor plan flows like a home built for today’s buyer. There is a true great room…bedrooms offer privacy and bathrooms throughout the home are well appointed. The light switches have been placed where it would make sense for them to be. And those light switches turn on the lights you think they will! Have you ever been to an old house with beyond confusing electrical? When the light switch in the foyer turns on the lamp in the kitchen? Not in this wonderful property. The master bedroom sits beneath a parallel archway on the other side of the foyer. And comes fully equipped with a private, cozy porch for perfect Sullivans evenings.
And now, what you have all been waiting for…the recreation hall. A space where soldiers once danced, so much from the past remains in this beautiful recreation hall. The ceilings are adorned with pressed tin panels and the walls made of original brick and stucco. The original historic electric panels have been preserved as artifacts. And with gleaming wood floors, a full length balcony and a half bath, this space can now serve a multitude of purposes, and the current owners have taken full advantage of this rare venue.
By far the neatest fact about this home rich with Sullivans Island history is that there are actually THREE “twin” buildings to this one! So, I guess it is a quadruplet structure?! And there may be more! At the turn of the century, this building, along with one at Fort Yellowstone, another at Fort Seward in Alaska and a 4th in Missoula, Montana were built from the same stock plans, produced by the US Army. In Yellowstone, the National Park Service owns the building and it is used as a commercial space. In Haines, Alaska the building is privately owned (like 1714 Middle Street) but it is used as a restaurant and a B and B. And in Missoula, the structure is now owned by a non-profit preservation organization to restore all the remains of Fort Missoula.
What I love most about 1714 Middle Street – and most of the historic homes on the register – is that it is loved for the memories it holds. Owners of historic homes take pride in preserving their original amenities and features. These owners not only did that, but created a place to enjoy the the modern conveniences of today without destroying the charm of yesterday.
So a note to the next owners of this unique home – preserve, enjoy and love it as much as everyone has since the turn of the century. It deserves it.