It's relatively rare that a homeowner eagerly talks about how homely their home is.
But Charleston developer Johnny Maybank is an exception, at least when it comes to the 1950s era home he owns at 36 King St.
Or used to own.
Last Wednesday, a backhoe arrived at the property and made quick work of the two-story woodframe house.
Maybank had all the necessary city approvals. No one protested or tried to stand gallantly between the building and the heavy equipment.
"This is the ugliest house in town, the ugliest house south of Broad to be sure," Maybank said shortly before its demise.
The home, while a half century old, was a relative newbie. Most neighboring homes were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It also didn't look like much compared to the proportions of the nearby mansions.
The house at 36 King apparently began life as a petite single house, but its piazzas eventually were filled in and expanded to accommodate bathrooms for two rental units, giving it an unappealing, bloated look.
Its curb appeal also was limited by a solid brick wall along the sidewalk and the fact that it was one of the only houses in the area with vinyl siding and mismatched windows.
Maybank says one reason he wanted to get rid of the home is because it will help draw attention to another, much older building at the rear of the lot.
This structure, with a masonry first floor and a wooden second floor, also has an exterior chimney that's unusual for an old Charleston home (where most chimneys are found toward the middle of the floorplan).
A recent history says the older house, possibly a kitchen building originally, might have been built in the 1700s by Andrew Townsend or another member of his family. Inside, its hand-hewn lathe and other details also testify to its advanced age.
Maybank says he's only the fourth person in history to own both 36 King St. and the adjacent lot at 30 King, and he hopes to find a preservation-minded buyer interested in combining the properties and renovating them to their full potential.
The house at 30 King is larger and more intriguing. Its oldest, northern portion was built in the 18th century, but it also underwent two expansions closer to Ladson Street.
Maybank plans to renovate the small 18th century house as a complementary use to the larger one.
He's encouraged by the recent sale across the street, where Brooke Gordon bought 37 King for $6.5 million. Less than a block away, the house at 21 King St., once went for $7.2 million, breaking the record for city sales.
While no preservationists showed up for the demolition at 36 King St., a neighbor appeared on his balcony and said he was grateful he wouldn't hear its tin roof flapping every time the wind kicked up.
And then there was a piano player who walked by, saying he had been thinking about renting a unit there.
Lower King definitely is looking better these days.
Even after the housing bubble burst and the economic meltdown, the forces of revitalization, renovation and gentrification march on.