The owner of this 1903 southern mansion shared his home with me and I am very excited to share with you.
Southern graciousness and charm abound in this historic district home in Charleston, South Carolina. The first thing you notice are the massive wrap around porches – over 1800 square feet of “piazzas”.
The house is not currently for sale – so don’t get your house-hunting hopes up – but I was granted permission to share the former listing photos.
Built in 1903, this 4 bedroom/3 bathroom home was actually a hotel in the 1930’s and 1940’s!
It was known as the Palm Villa Motel.
The owner – Realtor Dan Mengedoht – still has the vintage neon hotel sign in his basement. Check it out:
Isn’t that amazing?
Dan also has the original letterhead stationery from the hotel:
This grand home also had a past life as a private school – which Dan’s cousin actually attended as a child. Dan is a longtime resident of Charleston who bought this house in the 1970’s. He says that when he took possession of the home, there were stacks of old desks and chairs in the home’s cellar – remnants from the building’s time as a school.
Have a look inside:
The foyer features 5-foot wainscoting, 12 foot ceilings, and an antique crystal chandelier. The hardwood floors with mahogany inlay are original, as are the massive pocket doors.
I can envision this place as a hotel, but it’s harder to imagine it as a school.
The front of the house has many of those floor length “Jeffersonian windows” that a person could just walk right out onto the veranda – so charming and southern!
When you own an old home, one of your deepest hopes is to have an elderly former tenant drop by to fill you in on stories of the house’s past. Dan described how this very thing happened to him:
An old lady named Shady Pinckney called a few years ago and asked if she could come show her family where she grew up. Well, she ended up giving me the tour, and provided some old pictures of her as a toddler in the house. It was quite interesting.
This Shady Pinckney is the sister of Soloman Canady. My father grew up with and went to school with Sol Canady, and dad says that he learned to drive in our backyard long before our family bought the property.
(Gotta love those old southern names!)
The history of this house is echoed in the vintage features like the original dual gas/electric light fixtures.
Looking up the regal stairwell….
The bedrooms on the upper level also feature those exceedingly tall ceilings and windows that you can walk right out:
All of the bedrooms have coal-burning fireplaces which, amazingly, still function. There are a total of 7 fireplaces throughout the home.
Then there’s this gorgeous bath:
As mentioned above, this home also has a large cellar which is very rare in the low-lying Charleston region.
Another enduring mystery of the home is an incident which occurred shortly after the First World War when $75,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from the house. The crime has never been solved.
Thanks to Dan Mengedoht for sharing this beautiful Charleston home with us.
By the way, if you want to check out the inactive listing for this house on Zillow, you can view it here.