1714 Middle St. — Fine looks, gym-sized rec room showcase island-fort-building-turned-residence for rent

American flags and a decorative cannon show off 1714 Middle St., the former post exchange at Fort Moultrie that’s now for rent as a residence (Photo provided).

By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

When a functioning base, Fort Moultrie housed a “post exchange,” the place where soldiers got a haircut, bought goods — even unwound at dances.

The 18th century fort on Sullivan’s Island would eventually outlive its military usefulness, becoming an historic attraction for locals and visitors for the past decades.

And the post exchange building? It met a more familial fate. The government sold the fort store in 1953 to a private owner, who converted the sprawling structure into a house and lived there for 40 years.

A couple now own the residence, located at 1714 Middle St. They’re marketing the home as a rental for $4,500 a month (and have also listed the property for sale at $1,495,000).

“It’s got a lot of history,” says Gene West, who with spouse Linda West are the owners.

As a rental, the husband and wife are seeking a year’s lease.

The amply sized dwelling contains a trove of high-end features and a one-of-a-kind fascination: a wooden-floored recreation room nearly the capacity of a basketball court. “It actually had basketball lines on the floor,” he says, but they’ve since been covered over.

Sporting five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, the grandiose residence would be apt for someone who can make use of the entire space. “It’s very nice for a large family,” he says. The property also lends itself to parties and large dances. “We’ve had wedding receptions,” he says.

Along with the recreation center, now set up with a large table and chairs, 1714 Middle St. contains an updated kitchen that opens into the elegant living and dining rooms. A large foyer is at the center of the house, noted for columns and fine woodwork. Also on the main floor are three bedrooms, two baths and a spacious storage room.

Two more bedrooms, two baths and a powder room are upstairs, where a balcony stretches along one side of the home. The three-tier house has a single-car garage on the ground level.

Also striking are the surroundings. “We have a nice front yard on Middle Street. The house is long,” he says, stretching almost to Thompson Avenue in the back. A throwback to the post exchange’s earlier days is the original cistern. “A pump fills it up,” says West, noting that the reservoir has since been converted into a goldfish pond.

The house is situated on the western side of Sullivan’s Island. From the mainland, take Ben Sawyer Boulevard over the like-named bridge. Turn right on Middle Street. Proceed about 10 blocks. On the right is 1714 Middle St.

For more information, call 843-224-3241 or visit www.1714MiddleStreet.com.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.