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Swallowtail Architecture wins BZA Approval for Fort Moultire’s Ordinance Shop to become a Special Exception Residential Building

The restoration of the Fort Moultrie’s Ordinance Shop received BZA approval to be designated as a Special Exception Historic Structure

Sullivan’s Island, SC; May 12, 2017 – 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, originally served as an Ordinance Shop within the fort. In January, the project received Conceptual Design Approval and in March unanimous Preliminary Approval from Sullivan’s Island Design Review Board to strip away later additions, uncover the original building and renovate it into a 1200-square foot single unit residential cottage.

Elizabeth Tezza, Chair of Sullivan Island’s BZA Board,  complimented Swallowtail on the design of the redevelopment of the property as well as the clear presentation. The design restores the original shape and massing of the Ordinance Shop, re-introduces lost details and proposes construction of a new home behind the historic cottage, one that is sensitive to both the scale and massing of the historic cottage.

Sullivan’s Island introduced the Special Exception classification to the Zoning Ordinance to encourage property owners to preserve the small historic structures. This classification of a historic building on a site allows the home owners to build a second residential building on the same site. That way the shape, mass, and most of the details of the historic building is preserved, while the new building can be constructed to current Building Code and FEMA regulations; a double win

Fort Moultrie was decommissioned after World War II and all of the outbuildings surrounding the original fort enclosure sold. Most were renovated and adapted for residential use. In the past 15 years, Sullivan’s Island has increasingly recognized the value and importance of these buildings, some over 120 years old, and enacted zoning ordinances to protect this unique legacy. Stephen Herlong, acting chair of the DRB, noted the “significant challenges” of renovating the Ordinance Shop, due to its original use, subsequent additions and other changes that covered much of the original building. He noted that some of these later additions might also have historical value.

Hidden under vinyl siding is a historic brick gem, once an Ordinance Shop for Fort Moultire

Swallowtail specializes in residential architecture on Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Summerville and in the Lowcountry around Charleston, South Carolina. The firm is known for its familiarity with the zoning ordinances, with proven experience as well creating designs that win approval from the local Boards of Design Review. Swallowtail proprietor and architect Rachel Burton says the firm especially welcomes renovations or additions to historic homes, and projects on sites that are more challenging to develop because of existing trees or setback constraints. For more information, contact rachel@swallowtailarchitecture.com, or call 843-885-9400.