Beattie House Project
This 1834 beauty had been owned by the city and served as the meeting place for the Greenville Women's Club for years. It was one of the venues that Ryan and I considered for our wedding in 2003 and we’d also attended a function for Stone Academy in the house a few years back.
One block from our current home on E Park, the Beattie House was listed for sale as part of a sealed bid auction process. The house itself was stunning, but what really caught our attention was the 2+ acres in the middle of the city! We started dreaming about a big yard for our children and a place where friends and family could gather. However, we knew that restoring this home would be our biggest project yet and we were a little overwhelmed with the idea.
Our realtor worked with us to submit our bid, propose our plans for the property and tell our "story" to the city of Greenville. Honestly, we really thought we had zero chance. Thankfully, City Council thought differently.
On December 20th (our 13th wedding anniversary!) we got the call from Jacob saying that the city had chosen us to restore this historic home to it former residential glory! We were not the highest bidders and so humbled to be chosen.
Read more about the history of the Beattie House here.
The whole family attended the final city council meeting with our realtor, Jacob Mann, to see the decision made public. It was a neat experience!
With three months until closing we needed to get a historic easement in place (per our sales contract) as well as meet with our banker, builder and landscaper to start plans. Oh, and we also needed to sell our E Park house!
First things first, Nelson Poe and William Johnston at Southern First gave us a great loan package to finance the purchase of the Beattie House. Mike Bedenbaugh with Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation came to assess the property and created an easement that was satisfying to the city as well as our family. All along the way, our closing attorney, Ryan Brown, made sure no detail was missed (this was not your typical closing!). It seemed like a long road, but on April 13th the city handed us the keys to the home and it was official!
Because the house was so high profile and on the National Historic Registry, we had some extra hoops to jump through before starting renovations. Certain tax credits are also available to historic homes through the state of South Carolina.
In honor of our new adventure, we named the newest member of our family "Beattie."
I met with Graham with Graham Kimak Landscape Designs to give him my vision for the yard. Right now the property is mostly pavement mixed with overgrown bushes and plants leftover from the Women's Club days.
We need to close off the church street entrance completely (for privacy and safety issues- we are right downtown!) and we'll add an automatic gate to the Bennett Street entrance. I love the pillars with the decorative arch and the long private driveway.
I'd like a football field of grass for entertaining (think graduation parties, neighborhood Easter egg hunts) and family football games on Thanksgiving (anyone remember Cheaper By the Dozen?!). He came up with a design (scroll to page 2 unless you are into plant names etc) that fits my style of nice, neat and clean while adding fun features for our children to enjoy.
Graham is very talented, easy to work with and reasonably priced. I can't wait to see the parking lot transformed!! The children are asking for a zip line from the Harcourt cul-de-sac above us so that their friends can come down to play...let's just say the jury is still out on that!! We (and by "we" I mean Ryan!) did manage to put our first tree swing in the yard... the kids love it!
Our builder, Josh Carter with Oasis Custom Homes, and I spent hours walking through the home discussing options for updates, restoration and functionality. The current flow (with a few tweaks) works nicely for our family of seven. These are the final (as of right now) plans for the project main floor .
The existing light fixtures (chandeliers, pendants and sconces) are pretty formal, dirty and many need repair. A couple of these already went to new homes. My plan for the remaining lights is to (assuming they can be cleaned and repaired) incorporate them into different areas of the home. I'm thinking sconces in bathrooms, pendants in the powder room and possibly a closet, and the chandeliers (that are able to be repaired) hanging in my girls' bedrooms. The lights are not original, but they do have some history to them. I think it's important to keep that with the house.
Speaking of lighting, I recently met a new friend, Dixie with Saleeby Jean Interiors here in Greenville. She'll be helping me with lighting and possibly wallpaper. Dixie and her partner, Crystal, have great style and are super fun to work with. These are some of our inspiration pictures.
So, let's go back a minute to our other house. . .
New Years Day, a family came to see our E Park house (before it was on the market - thanks to a friend!) and made us an offer. We accepted and are renting the home back from them while work is being done on the Beattie House.
We are excited to eventually have them as neighbors!!