15 Colonial St. — Restored house on chummy lane below Broad melds century-old roots, modern touches
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
People who think there aren’t youngsters below Broad Street anymore should check out Colonial Street.
“This street has 25 kids,” many of whom ride their bikes or walk to school, Melissa Brown says. She and her husband have raised two children, who are now 18 and 20 years old. in their home at 15 Colonial St.
The 2,958-square-foot residence showcases double porches, four large bedrooms and four-and-a-half-baths. Now the dwelling, built 102 years ago, is for sale for $1,150,000.
“It’s a great home, a great location,” says Brown, who grew up on St. Michael’s Alley and pedaled her cycle to Charleston Day School as a kid.
What marks Colonial Street is it’s just one block, from Broad to Tradd streets between Rutledge and Ashley avenues, so it’s not a natural thoroughfare. Every house has an architecturally similar “twin.” Meanwhile, few roadways in the historic district can claim a basketball goal in the street, says Saida Russell, Realtor with Disher, Hamrick & Myers and listing agent.
“We have all ages; college to infants,” she says.
Word is just getting out about 15 Colonial. “It’s only been on the market three weeks,” she says. “I see it as a family house,” Russell says, while noting the house would be a fine choice for empty nesters that wanted extra space for guests and family. In her listing, Russell says the residence is “designed for sophisticated urban living and entertaining.”
The Browns retained local contractor Palmetto Craftsmen in 2001 to completely renovate the Victorian-era residence. A main feature of the renewal was reclaiming the original heart pine floors, but that wasn’t all, Russell says.
In addition, the owners and home remodeler:
• Designed a chef’s kitchen. The culinary center boasts custom cabinets from Brett Saunders of Mount Pleasant, granite countertops, a Décor convection oven, Thermador chef’s hood, warming drawer, Bosch “silent” dishwasher and GE Monogram refrigerator. Brown takes credit for one feature — twin industrial foot pedals to control hot and cold water from one of the kitchen’s five faucets.
• Upfitted the bathrooms. Highlights are natural stone floors, custom closets, mirrored lights and Kohler fixtures.
• Modernized the electrical, plumbing and climate control equipment. There’s now security and irrigation systems, a whole-house pump and overhauled electrical and plumbing systems. Built-in speakers pipe tunes throughout the house and porches.
• Installed five working fireplaces. In a throwback, the fireplaces are all period-styled with gas coal hearths.
Elsewhere, 15 Colonial St. showcases an expansive family room, formal dining room and a butler’s pantry off the kitchen. Ceilings are nine feet or higher. Screen doors are extra solid with mahogany frames.
Every bedroom has its own bath. The master suite is on the second floor along with a guest suite, and there are two more bedroom-bath combinations on the top level. A half-bath is on the main floor.
Brown is proud of her invention to ferry dirty clothes from a second floor bedroom to an adjacent laundry and washer-dryer by way of a small chute.
Outside, the residence sports off-street parking in the form of an extra-long driveway, able to handle two Suburbans, Brown says.
For potential buyers looking to spread out, the owners drew up plans — approved by the city Board of Architectural Review — for an 880-square-foot two story addition which would “expand the downstairs family room, add a side entrance and additional storage downstairs, expand the master suite and add a second floor deck,” Russell says in her listing.
Another perk about Colonial Street is it’s situated toward the western edge of Broad Street.
“You can zip West Ashley (via Lockwood Drive),” Russell says. At the same time, downtown with its nightlife and shopping is not far away heading east on Broad. The home is in walking distance to Colonial Lake and to Moultrie Park, which sports a playground and tennis courts.
Brown acknowledges that she will miss the Colonial Street neighborhood. “You know everybody, in a good way.”
The house is near the middle of Colonial Street. Heading south, take Rutledge Avenue to Calhoun Street and turn right. Make a left onto Ashley Avenue. Follow Ashley to Broad Street and turn left. The first right is Colonial. On the right is 15 Colonial St.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agent: Saida Russell
Office: Disher, Hamrick & Myers
Philosophy: “Being a native Charlestonian I have witnessed first-hand the many changes in our area, and I love the new diversity and energy that we have here now. As part of my job, I always try to introduce my clients to local services, to events and to neighbors. My clients often become my friends, and that is a true joy.”