If it’s hard to imagine Charleston life circa 1731, remember this. Parts of the city’s original fortress still stood, and the British crown ultimately handled public money.

Seventeen thirty-one also happened to be the year the supremely titled “Royal Treasurer,” Jacob Motte, built himself an expansive new home within the boundaries of the old walled city. His Tradd Street residence still stands. So does a second, presumably less elegant, structure tucked behind.

In 282 years, the smaller building’s physical stature hasn’t changed much. But the back structure’s overall appearance morphed, ugly duckling to swan like, after a full-scale makeover.

“Originally this outbuilding would have been used as a kitchen house or servant quarters for the main home,” says Middleton Rutledge, local Realtor. “But now it has been tastefully transformed to a very sophisticated turnkey property located in a premiere location South of Broad (Street).”

The 61½ Tradd St. residence, known as the Jacob Motte Carriage House, went on the market about a month ago priced at $1,295,000, says Rutledge, listing agent for Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston. “We have solid interest in this house, but no offers yet,” he says.

Rising three stories, the 2,016-square-foot house includes three bedrooms and two-and-half baths. Features range from the original extra-wide brick fireplace in what’s now the living room to Sub-Zero refrigerator, Viking stove and flat screen TVs.

“I would say this is the quintessential (downtown Charleston) pied a terre,” Rutledge notes.

To get to that level, the 61½ Tradd St. home went through a renovation “from head to toe,” Rutledge says. The owners put on a new slate roof while installing all new plumbing and electrical wiring. They repointed, reflued and otherwise restored the 18th century first floor fireplace, he says.

In written remarks this week, Rutledge provided a detailed description of 61½ Tradd and its steady restoration.

“This three story stucco over masonry home breathes Charleston charm,” he says. “The old brick fireplace immediately draws your attention in the first floor living room as does the beautifully refinished heart of pine floors. “The kitchen has been designed to give you all the top of the line cooking appliances, plenty of space to cook, along with plenty of cabinet space for storage,” Rutledge says.

A master suite with bedroom, two walk in closets, marble bathroom and laundry nook mark the second floor, he says.

Meanwhile, the third floor provides “two well-proportioned bedrooms with high ceilings, which capture plenty of natural light.” There’s also a bright renovated bathroom, he says. Scenic views of the First Scots Presbyterian steeples distinguish the top floor.

“In addition, there is a lovely and private landscaped courtyard with a fountain,” says Rutledge, who described the setting as a great place to relax and hear the bells of St. Michaels Church.

Rutledge says the house stands out even more now, as the number of homes currently for sale in the historic district lessens.

“There are very few properties like this listed downtown, as inventory is at its lowest point since the real estate downturn in 2008,” he says. “There have been 91 closed homes South of Broad year to date and 50 of them were over the $1 million dollar mark. Sales volume is up 20 percent from last year and prices have jumped up about 15 percent from last year in this specific segment of the market.”

Rutledge is keen on 61½ Tradd.

“This the perfect South of Broad (residence) for a buyer who lives elsewhere, but wants a little piece of Charleston charm to call home.”

The house sits close to Meeting Street. Traveling south, take Meeting Street below Broad Street. Continue one full block to Tradd Street, which is one way east. Turn left on Tradd and look just before 61 Tradd. Ahead on the right, through a gate, is 61½ Tradd St.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5442 or jparker@postandcourier.com.


Agent: H. Middleton Rutledge

Office: Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty

Phone: 843-345-9137

Philosophy: “Specializing in downtown historical homes and coastal properties.”