Grand 1 Meeting St. home sells for $4.2M George Robertson House was at center of city preservation dispute

The George Robertson House at 1 Meeting St. will be renovated by its new owners.

A 19th-century antebellum mansion that ignited a high-profile zoning dispute on the lower peninsula last year was sold Wednesday for $4.2 million.

The five-story, brick house at 1 Meeting St. was built in 1846 and overlooks White Point Garden in downtown Charleston.

The buyers are William and Frederike Hecht, who purchased the property under the name Bon Vivant II LLC, according to William Means Real Estate.

The couple — he works in commercial real estate and she is a designer — plan to eventually move to Charleston, according to Paula Yorke, the agent who handled the sale for the new owners.

“We live both in Maryland and Los Angeles but are looking forward to settling into Charleston,” Frederike Hecht said in a statement Wednesday. “My husband and I, before we were married many moons ago, visited Charleston, we fell in love and we are now seeing our dream of living in the city we have desired and admired for many years. The fact that it is one of the most important historical residences in the city is of significance to us and we look forward to being the proper custodians of the rich history and architecture for many years to come.”

Known as the George Robertson House, the home has eight bedrooms, six full bathrooms plus towering ceilings with the original moldings, period floors, fireplaces and grand piazzas with views of Charleston Harbor.

The main house also has a functioning elevator that was installed in the early 20th century. The 12,000-square-foot property also includes a one-bedroom apartment and one-bedroom carriage house.

Yorke said the new owners have won awards for historic restoration in other cities, and they are planning an extensive renovation of the home, carriage house and grounds.

The property will be three separate residences. The Hechts will occupy one and put the others up for sale.

The seller of 1 Meeting was the estate of the late preservation activist Nancy Hawk. Her family’s plan to divide it into three separate units in November was rebuffed by a coalition of neighbors and preservationists, who feared the precedent it would set for other large homes downtown. The city approved the change in June.

Sign up for our new business newsletter

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.

The house went on the market in 2012 for just under $6.5 million. The asking price was reduced later by $1 million, Yorke said.

The home sale is not a record for the peninsula. That was set in June when buyers from Virginia paid nearly $7.72 million for the nearby 10,800-square-foot Colonel John Ashe House at 32 South Battery.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524.