After anxiously waiting almost 2 months, we received approval from the South Carolina Historic Preservation Organization to begin the renovation. This was cause for celebration! One, because we got the ok (not easily secured), two, we have the potential for tax credits, and three, we could now begin demo to find out what we were really dealing with regarding the structure and necessary repairs. To decide to dive into a renovation project of this magnitude without knowing the full scope of the project was unnerving. So we were elated when we received approval on all of our renovation requests (with 2 minor exceptions that we easily adjusted and clarified) and we could finally uncover what we were really dealing with.
One of the most interesting things about the demolition process is we are uncovering the origins of the single family home. So with every wall that comes down, cabinets lifted, and plaster removed, the house tells a story. The picture you see above is between the kitchen and my grandmother’s bedroom. It was a small room with a window, no closet, and next to the kitchen. She lived in the home with my uncle so it wasn’t really a bedroom but she had made it one since they only lived in the first floor of the house. When the plaster came down, we discovered the outline of a staircase, framed by paint and indicating her bedroom had been a landing for a staircase. For a moment, I thought, “should we add the original staircase?”, but it was fleeting given I really wanted a larger, modern kitchen.
One thing we learned through the SCHPO and the guidance of our amazing contractor, (more on Marc Engelke later), was keeping the historical integrity of the home in the front of the house is a priority, while modernizing and upgrading the back portions of the home are understood and accepted. People live completely differently now and homes are designed to accommodate those changes in lifestyle.
Which brings me to the subject of my next blog, where to put a downstairs closet!? Your input is welcome on this subject!! After you read my next blog, send me an email if you have any ideas!