People with even a passing knowledge of downtown Charleston’s past know that harbor side neighborhoods along western Murray Boulevard sit on filled land.
But the exact boundaries remain a little murky.
Owner of 19 Greenhill St., Jack Alterman, and listing agent, Lynn Hanlin, recently examined a copy of a Charleston peninsula map dated from 1872. The map as expected showed water a few blocks further inland than today. What caught their eyes, however, was that Green Hill Street – it’s original name – showed up on the map just north of where wharfs stood along Charleston Harbor.
They hadn’t been sure the short street, which runs one-way south to north in the block from Gibbes to Tradd streets, was quite that old.
According to Alterman and Hanlin, the map helps confirm that one house in particular, 19 Greenhill St., speaks to the roadway’s lengthy pedigree. Alterman says the house, which dates to 1910, is said to have been originally designed in the brick craftsman style.
The Preservation Society of Charleston said as much in 1995. Describing 19 Greenhill St. to promote a home tour, the group said, “This large turn-of-the-century dwelling features design characteristics of the Queen Anne and Craftsman design periods.”
Alterman says the residence therefore would be “one of the earlier (craftsman) examples south of Broad.”
The historic wrinkle lends to the property’s character. The 2,900-square-foot house is for sale for $1,099,000, says Hanlin, Realtor with Carriage Properties.
According to Hanlin, 19 Greenhill St. “retains its early architectural style.” She describes Greenhill Street as “tranquil.”
Adds Alterman, “You sit on the porch and you don’t have a car come by.”
While maintaining its early 20th century appeal, the three bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home gradually evolved over the years under various owners. In 1986, noted landscape architect Sheila Wertimer designed the property’s backyard garden including an “allee” of towering crape myrtles. In a 1987 remodeling, a porch was enclosed as a sitting room, with Charleston-style French doors leading to a new deck overlooking the back garden.
More recently, the kitchen went through an upgrade that includes stainless steel appliances, wood floors, custom cabinets, Zodiac countertops and a walk-in pantry with wine storage shelves.
Keeping ties to its roots, the residence boasts pine floors throughout and features four working fireplaces. Meanwhile, 11 foot ceilings exemplify its spacious layout. The high ceilings also reveal an uncommon trait: Craftsman-style homes, in a movement started in the colder Midwest, typically showcase lower ceilings, according to Alterman.
A large foyer with arched hallway and flanking double parlors graces the entrance. Likely original beveled glass, installed to maximize light, marks the front door and an overhead transom.
Including in her write-up, Hanlin cited additional highlights:
• “Livable” front porch and back deck suitable for dining and entertaining.
• Second floor master suite, redone in 2006 to include granite countertops, skylights, jetted tub and separate shower in the bathroom; plus ample closets and built-ins.
• A guest/hall bath featuring imported ceramic tile floor, walls, and new fixtures.
• Laundry room with built-in storage, work sink.
• Higher than usual crawl space offering plenty of storage for bicycles and tools.
• Off street parking to the side of the house.
Meanwhile, a third-level room reachable via a spiral staircase can be used as a bonus “fourth bedroom,” hanlin says.
Spotlighting 19 Greenhill St. is an up-to-date livability combined with an unbroken link to early 1900s Charleston. “This is a neighborhood with residents who have lived here a long time,” Hanlin says.
The more than century-old house is near the southern tip of Greenhill Street. Heading south, take Rutledge Avenue crossing Broad Street. Take a left on Gibbes Street. Follow Gibbes as it widens and splits with Lowndes Street across Limehouse. Make a left on Greenhill. On the left is 19 Greenhill St.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agent: Lynn Hanlin
Office: Carriage Properties
Philosophy: “I listen; my clients’ needs come first.”
The front porch at 19 Greenhill St. has a wide sitting area as well as the street number on the railing (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
Local landscape artist Sheila Wertimer designed this avenue of crape myrtles (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
A spiral staircase leads to the top floor at 19 Greenhill St. (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
The third floor is an attic converted to a bedroom (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
The master bathroom at 19 Greenhill St. includes an arched entryway and jetted tub (Provided by Jack Alterman).×
Hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances are among the kitchen highlights (Provided by Jack Alterman).×
The guest bedroom is on the second floor (Provided Jack Alterman).×
A large foyer marks the entrance to the early 20th century home (Provided by Jack Alterman).×
This guest bathroom showcases double vanities and Charleston style paint colors (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
The second floor porch looks over Greenhill Street (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
A crape myrtle fronts the brick house at 19 Greenhill St. downtown (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×
Bay windows and hardwood floors spotlight the master bedroom of the 2,900-square-foot home in Charleston’s historic district (Provided by Jack Alterman).×
A row of glass cabinets is an more modern feature of the house (Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/8/28/2013).×