Charleston, South Carolina brings to mind delicious food, southern charm, and historic homes. The latter being one of our specialties. Always wishing to work in this historic city, we were pleased when a former client asked us to restore a famous landmark there – the Alfred Hutty House.
The home was built in 1770 and the three bedroom, three and one-half bath brick home boasts classic Federal-style architecture, is on the city’s historic tour and is often featured in movies—you may have seen it! However, this house wasn’t always so glamorous. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Tradd Street was a commercial thoroughfare. The first floor consisted of shops and the owners lived upstairs. In the 1920s, this house was almost torn down! Fortunately, that never happened.
The current architecture can be acclaimed to a renowned artist, Alfred Hutty. In 1927, he bought the house and began renovations. He tore down a store to the west of the main house to create a beautiful garden. He then took the multi-colored bricks from the store to build a wall and gateposts with a wide wooden gate. Due to a conservation easement signed, the side yard will stay untouched.
From there, Hutty then closed off the front entrance and moved it to the side facing the garden where he built a curved staircase up to the new doorway. Once installed, the typical, southern-style wrought iron balcony was placed over the door. The previously separated kitchen house was transformed into his studio.
It is important to respect the original character of the home, so we are working closely with the Historic Charleston Foundation, an organization that oversees and protects city antiquity. We plan to restore the main structure by using original materials while also bolstering core structural components. As with most historic homes, systems require updating and all structural issues will be addressed. Once the infrastructure is secure, a new kitchen and master bath will positioned where the existing Kitchen “ell” is.
This new kitchen will then be linked to the free-standing studio structure and the studio – or dependency, as the locals call it – will be renovated to a great room, lounge area and bar. We can imagine the entertaining and party possibilities already!
We are lucky to work extensively with a local architectural historian, Glenn Keyes; landscape architect, Sheila Wertimer; and Charleston interior designer, Amelia Handegan, to craft a design concept that brings this wonderful, historic home into the 21st century, while maintaining the home’s architectural importance.
The drawings are complete and all approvals have been secured. Demolition has begun and the general contractor will be framing the house in a few weeks and is on path for completion by late next summer. Stay tuned as we update you on the progress of this exceptional project!