Historic Summerville Home Conversion

Creating a New Chapter as Commercial Office Space

What once was a large, family home in the heart of the historic town of Summerville, later fell into disrepair before it was recently bought and converted into gleaming, new commercial office space.  The entire home was made to be fresh, bright and clean, as well as safe with all the modern comforts.  Much of the original floor plan and detailing was left intact while new details were added.  Heart pine floors and original millwork, molding, and doors were preserved.  The home’s many fireplace mantels were restored and kept in place. Upstairs we exposed the masonry work of the fireplaces.  We added new openings between rooms where needed to improve the flow, as well as we removed non-original walls to open up the floor plan. The added benefit was that light from the existing windows now bounces throughout the home both upstairs and down to make this the perfect space to inspire creativity and productivity.

Before & After

Summerville farmhouse converted to Commercial office spaceOffice space with charm, farmhouse converted to commercial office space in Summerville, SC

Before and After View of Historic Summerville Home
Converted to Commercial Office Space

The guts of the home, including electrical and plumbing, were completely updated to modern safety standards.  Emergency exit signs, and smart sensors were added.  To meet modern ADA standards, the bathrooms were all torn out and relocated with new accessible fixtures.  The old staircase, too short and steep to be comfortable let alone meet today’s building codes, was replaced with a new wood stair and new wood handrails, adding both safety and beauty back into this old home.

After it was determined that the home would be too costly to renovate and rehabilitate for single family residential use, and since it was only 2 blocks away from downtown Summerville’s main commercial development, the decision was made to create a new purpose as office space. We reviewed the project and the owners goals and set out to a create a plan that respected both the neighborhood and the home itself.  This 1800’s era house has long been a fixture on the corner of West Richardson and Pine.  We wanted to respect that legacy, so we lovingly created a design to restore the original structure.  Future plans within the large, 1 acre park-like corner lot include additional office buildings, of equal character,  at the rear of the lot to minimizing any visual impact for the neighboring properties.

Image Gallery

Keeping original farmhouse detail while renovating into office space
Removing stairwell wall and adding windows to the let the light fill this new office

Before and After Image Gallery







Architect: Rachel Burton, Swallowtail Architecture
Builder: Garnet Construction
Photography: Tripp Smith
Interior Design: Robin Rogers

From Rachel’s Desk

Uncovering the Past of this Historic Summerville Home

We wanted to share an article about the home in "Beth’s Pineland Village." From our research we learned about Mrs. Smith initial reluctance to purchase such an old home and then the additions and renovations they undertook, as well as a sweet family connection to the property.

Summerville Residential Conversion to Commercial Office

Summerville is at its heart, a small town. A place with a community feel and a great quality of life. People who live in Summerville love living here not only because of the lifestyle and conveniences of dining, shopping, and Charleston's proximity, but because of the cohesion of the community. Swallowtail Architecture honors the community feel with a new project converting a residential home to an office space.