The William C. Gatewood House
Charleston, South Carolina
Winner of a 2009 AIA Award for Historic Preservation
This classic 9,500 square foot Greek Revival “sideyard” house, built in 1843 in the heart of Charleston’s historic district for a wealthy Virginian, William C. Gatewood, had fallen into an elegant disrepair over its 165-year history. The house endured numerous owners without the resources to adequately maintain it, several decades as a rooming house, and even a severe earthquake in the 1880’s.
The new owners’ mandate to the project’s restoration team was to create a comfortable 21st century home while rigorously restoring the house to its original 1840’s design.
This painstaking restoration took four years and required the extensive dismantling and reconstruction of major portions of both the formal, highly classical Main House and the more vernacular Kitchen House at the rear of the property.
Wherever possible, original material was saved and re-installed, and new components were created to replace those elements that had been lost to the ravages of time or insensitive renovation. While the original integrity of the house’s major rooms has now been restored, the project team also managed to accommodate numerous components of 21st century life within its historic fabric including 6 new bathrooms, 2 new kitchens, 3 new staircases, modern heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, and an elevator.
In addition, a beautiful new garden with raised plunge pool was designed for the house by landscape designer Deborah Nevins. The restored house thrives today as both a vibrant home and a living example of the enduring quality of Charleston’s architecture.