Admiral’s House soon will get full upgrade

The Admiral’s House, officer’s quarters on the former Charleston Naval Base, have not been occupied since the closure of the base in 1996. During the next 10 years it will be renovated and eventually serve the city of North Charleston as an event venue and bed and breakfast. File/Staff

North Charleston City Council voted unanimously Thursday to work with the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority to begin and complete various renovations on the former the Navy base. 

That's good news for those who are anxious to spend a night in the Admiral's House, which will become a bed and breakfast

A "Memorandum of Agreement" — a document outlining the responsibilities of each party — will give the RDA the go-ahead to begin $8 million in new work to be completed within 10 years.  

On Dec. 31, 2027, the RDA will transfer operation of the properties to the city. Until then, the two entities will work together, alongside the Charleston Naval Base Museum Authority, to operate the renovated buildings. 

Mayor Keith Summey has long envisioned development in this part of the city, and hopes to attract private developers to the nearby area north of Noisette Creek, city spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

"Our ultimate goal is to have Montague from 526 all the way to the river," Summey said last week. "And on the river, become downtown North Charleston."

Following is what's outlined in the agreement:

  • Quarters H and I, the two-story brick office building, is in use by the RDA as office space. During the next 10 years it will be maintained by the RDA and will see completion of ongoing renovations. 
  • Quarters A, the Admiral's House, will undergo a full renovation, which will cost about $4 million, Summey said. It will be used as a bed and breakfast. The RDA has already contracted designers, architects and expects to have a finalized contract with a construction company within four months, said RDA engineer Sean McDonell. 
  • Quarters F, the Commandant's House, is the oldest home on the base. The 1898 Victorian-style home has already gone through a full renovation that cost the RDA between $3.5 and $3.7 million, Summey said Thursday. City Council voted this month to create a five-person committee to oversee the interior design and furnishings of the home as a bed and breakfast and event venue.
  • Quarters J is the base's former school house. It will receive a renovation that will cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, Summey said. 
  • The RDA relocated and renovated the Eternal Father of the Sea chapel, a nondenominational church built in 1942 that is now used mostly as a wedding venue. The RDA will complete construction of the chapel's parking area. This work will include a new roadway that will serve as an entrance for the parking area and for Riverfront Park. 

Reach Hannah Alani at 843-937-5428. Follow her on Twitter @HannahAlani.

Hannah Alani is a reporter at The Post and Courier covering race, immigration and rural life across the Palmetto State. Before graduating from Indiana University and moving to Charleston in 2017, her byline appeared in The New York Times.