By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
A one-of-a-kind feature in Particia Ahearn’s stucco home on the Isle of Palms is an antique, curator’s desk from the old Charleston museum.
Not only is the piece unusual but so is the use, as a kitchen island. There’s a story behind that, as is often the case with artwork and curiosities in Ahearn’s residence.
She had admired the Tiger Oak desk and bought the piece around 1980. In October 1981, the museum burned. All that was left were two columns and the base at what’s now Cannon Park off Calhoun Street.
Ahearn says she held onto the desk without a permanent location until 1996, when she bought a lot from former Isle of Palms Mayor Carmen Bunch and built the house.
“I knew it (the desk) was going to be the island,” she says. The working desk includes full-length drawers that she now uses for storing odd-sized kitchenware.
After 17 years, Ahearn is selling the home at 2907 Waterway Blvd. It’s priced at $895,000. Among the fixtures staying with the 2,552-square-foot residence, which backs up to the eighth hole of the Wild Dunes Harbor golf course, is the ancient desk-island.
Along with its interior baubles, the home’s location is a key attraction, says Andrea Rogers, managing broker of AgentOwned Realty on the Isle of Palms and listing agent.
“It’s on back side of the island, not affected by tourists,” she says. The house is outside the Wild Dunes gate but considered part of the resort, so club membership is optional, Rogers says. Rear views include the course, marsh and Intracoastal Waterway.
Another charm is the three bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home’s exotic flavor. Over the years, Ahearn was an art teacher in Hong Kong for seven years, lived in upscale Westport, Conn., and ran an antique store on King Street. She’s hung up all types of artwork, designed an oversized bookcase on the second floor hallway and situated curios she brought back from Hong Kong and China — such as pre-World War II carved blinds with faces of Chinese Lohan wisemen.
Then there’s the building itself. The exterior construction is Hebel Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, covered with stucco. Rogers says the extra-strong concrete blocks can withstand winds up to 185 mph, won’t let pests in, are resistant to mold and fire, provide sound and thermal insulating and require little maintenance. An industrial 5-gauge metal roof adds to the structural integrity.
In her listing, Rogers cites a slew of additional perks. The entrance to the house is through a two-story foyer that leads to the family room with vaulted ceiling. The family room showcases a marble-and-wood gas fireplace and an antique water-gilded French mirror, which is negotiable for sale.
The back porch spans the width of the house and includes doors from the kitchen and first-floor master suite. The house was designed to maximize views, she says.
Along with the desk-island, the culinary center possesses a Dacor gas range, stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, new Bosch dishwasher, granite countertops, built-in lighted China cabinet and custom cherry cabinets, she says. The kitchen opens to a sizable dining space that features an antique crystal chandelier, which is negotiable, Rogers says.
Upstairs are two more suites with large bedrooms and connecting baths. Hardwood floors are found throughout the residence except in the bathrooms, which are tiled.
The residence sports a drive-under garage that can accommodate three cars with storage space left over, she says. Outside is the landscaped lot with lighting and a lawn irrigation system.
In her listing, the agent cites Ahearn’s influence on the house. Rogers describes her as “a connoisseur of Romantic period furnishings and fixtures and has meticulously designed and cared for this house. (The) property, as a whole, is a work of art.”
The house is 12 blocks north of the Isle of Palms connector. From the mainland, take U.S. Highway 17 North through Mount Pleasant. Turn right on the connector and cross onto the island. Make a left at the foot of the bridge on Palm Boulevard. Travel less than a mile and steer left onto 21st Avenue. Turn right on Waterway Boulevard. Travel eight blocks and on the left is 2907 Waterway Blvd.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agent: Andrea Rogers, managing broker
Office: The AgentOwned Realty Co., Isle of Palms
Philosophy: “I believe that succeeding in the current real estate market requires the ability to think outside of the box; to analyze and scrutinize all options; and to communicate effectively and consistently with clients, other agents, third party negotiators and banks. I take representing my clients’ buying and selling needs as seriously as if they were my own and am committed to working around all obstacles in order to achieve the desired results.”