Every century since the early 1800s, give or take 20 years, something notable takes place at the corner of Meeting Street and Ropemakers Lane.
Around 1810, Back River planter John Cordes Prioleau built a Charleston single-house after buying the lot from his father two years earlier.
Fertilizer dealer William Bachman Chisolm purchased the house, at 68 Meeting St., in 1894, according to Jonathan H. Poston’s The Buildings of Charleston: A Guide to the City’s Architecture. Chisolm updated the property while enlarging the structure, which at one point became a school.
Then in 2005-08, new owners undertook a full-scale refurbishment to reveal its elegant stature today.
The property, known as the John Cordes Prioleau House, is for sale for $4,450,000.
The extensive 1890s addition and faithful period restoration completed three years ago presents the house as a posh, museum-like dwelling from varied eras: the original Adams style, Victorian elements from the late 19th century and modern design — at least in terms of stainless appliances, updated plumbing and electrical work and 21st century temperature control systems.
One way to showcase the house is by the numbers. Here’s a sample:
• 7,000 square foot size.
• 12-foot ceilings.
• 10 pocket doors
• Five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
• Four stories and a basement.
• Four heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
According the agents' descriptive flier, “This pristine home has large beautiful rooms with incredible Adams architectural detailing in the wordwork, fireplaces and molding."
Along with its 19th century charm, the property boasts of architectural stylings not found everywhere. For instance, a trio of connected parlors at the south front of the house showcase painted tin ceilings.
Some hardwood floors and banisters date to the 1810 consruction, says Brian Mello, Realtor with Handsome Properties who with fellow agent Olga Page is co-listing the house. Fireplaces dot the house, in bedrooms, living quarters, even the master bath. The main floor dining room fireplace is notable for its marble surround.
Large second and third floor piazzas with semi-circular bays, redone in the 1890s, provide broad views including roof top sites on the third floor. They are accessible through bedrooms.
Roofs are slate, and exterior wall trim on the porches is brick.
The eat-in kitchen showcases high-end appliances, cabinets and limestone floors. Meanwhile stained glass windows marking main stairwell levels were added in the renovation 115 years ago.
The master suite is on the second floor. “It’s totally updated, very livable for an historic home,” Mello says. The bathroom sports limestone floors and a sauna.
Three large bedrooms, each with fireplaces, highlight the third floor. And there’s a bedroom with private bath and sitting area on the fourth floor.
“It’s a family home (handling) a lot of children,” Page says.
A back staircase runs from the main floor to the third level. Page says the house is designed with room for an elevator.
Access to the house is through a large oaken front door facing Meeting Street. The columned foyer includes detailed moldings. Another entry and exit is through the lush gardens and brick courtyard on the south side of the house. There’s also adjacent off-street parking.
While 68 Meeting is restored to the point where any buyer could move right in, the property lends itself to changes, judging from its history. “You can definitely put your mark,” Page says.
The brokers list a number of items that don’t convey with the house but can be purchased. They include a wine cooler, microwave, washer and dryer, four silver sconces on the front stairwell and outside urns and bird baths.
The residence is less than a block south of Broad Street. Heading south on Meeting Street, cross Calhoun Street and continue to Broad. Proceed through Broad and pass St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and the South Carolina Society Hall on the left. The next building on the left is 68 Meeting St.
Agents: Brian Mello, Olga Page
Office: Handsome Properties
Phone: 843-442-4958, 843-834-1226
Philosophy: "We are committed to investing in our clients by utilizing unique and diverse marketing venues that keep our properties in front of agents and their buyers, ensuring our homeowners receive the highest possible price for their homes."