Fort Moultrie 1890’s Ordinance House
Renovation and Re-imaging of an Historic Structure
Tucked away on Sullivan’s Island’s Thompson Street is a small gem waiting to be uncovered and restored. Hidden under a layer of vinyl siding and almost dwarfed by a rear addition, is a small brick building with a simple gable roof that back in the 1890’s was used as an Ordinance Shop for Fort Moultrie. Like many of the Fort’s buildings it was sold after the Fort was decommissioned and it was then converted to residential use. When we started this project, it was hard to imagine its long and significant history. But then we climbed into the attic and saw the top of the old brick walls with its arched window openings and old wood roof trusses.
After we received Conceptual and then Preliminary Approval from Sullivan’s DRB for the renovation of the old Ordinance Shop. We asked for permission to demolish the rear addition so the original shop building could become a small residential unit (a special exception allowed under Sullivan’s zoning ordinance to encourage the adaptive reuse and preservation of these historic buildings). But this was not an easy ask and the Board took it’s time to review our design, debate amongst themselves how much change to the original building was acceptable as an adaptive reuse, and consider whether the rear addition had any merit in it’s own right and should be incorporated into the design. These issues were complex and will also need to be debated and discussed when the old Town Hall buildings are renovated and adapted to residential use.
In the end, the DRB gave us unanimous approval to demolish the rear addition as it did not have significant merit in it’s own right. They approved a new porch on the front, as well as large storefront style windows and shed dormers in the roof at the rear. While the process took a few months, in the end I think everyone felt satisfied with the balance between preserving the historic fabric and accommodating residential use on this unusual site.
The redevelopment of this site is starting with the restoration of Fort Moultire’s 1890’s Ordinance Shop and will then move the design and construction of a new home on the back of the lot.
From Rachel’s Desk
The exciting part of restoring an historic structure and converting it into a residential home is the details you uncover during demolition. Finally years of layers and revisions and changes are peeled back to reveal [...]
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Demolition is underway at the Fort Moultrie 1890’s Ordinance House project. Removal of the interior walls and finishes always reveals hidden gems. In this Sullivan's Island project to convert the former Ordinance Shop into a residential property, we see remnants of a past era and previous renovations.
Swallowtail Architecture wins BZA Approval for Fort Moultire’s Ordinance Shop to Become a Special Exception Residential Building
Swallowtail Architecture of Summerville has BZA approval to classify a Fort Moultrie building dating back to the 1800s as a 'Special Exception.' The Sullivan Island project, one of Swallowtail’s three current Lowcountry historic renovations.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Recently obtained from the Atlanta Archives, this richly detailed copy of the map of Fort Moultrie shows considerable detail and information about the Fort. Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina; [...]