308 Grove St. — Developer patriarch’s Charleston home boasts ’30s Prairie-style design, high-end baubles – The Post and Courier
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Before exploring the 79-year-old brick house in Wagener Terrace with eyebrow roof line and bomb shelter, a history lesson may be in order.
John Charles Long married Alberta Mary Sottile in summer 1933 and the couple lived in the house at 308 Grove St. from 1934 to 1952.
Relocating with his family from Florida when he was 15, “J.C.” Long would emerge as a prominent developer, buying all the vacant land on the Isle of Palms to fashion a family vacation resort, building suburban Charleston neighborhoods such as Byrnes Downs, Ashley Forest and Waylyn and framing high-rise apartments including the Sergeant Jasper and Darlington (now Joseph Floyd Manor).
Alberta Long, daughter of developer Albert Sottile, would stay active in a host of community causes. The couple would raise two daughters at 308 Grove St., and both girls would marry. In the early 1950s, the Longs moved to Seaside Farms east of the Cooper.
J.C. Long’s real estate business continues as The Beach Co., run by an extended family including in-laws and grandchildren. The venture remains an influential developer, builder and home seller.
All the while, the Long’s first house at the corner of Wagener and Grove has gone through various transformations. The latest incarnation brought the house back to its roots: the owners wove in modern perks such as an updated kitchen while meticulously reclaiming the residence with original looks and feel.
“It’s like we are in a museum,” says Sis Marshall, listing agent with John Poston and Co. The 2,396-square-foot house, two blocks from the Ashley River, is on the market for $ 589,000.
J.C. Long, she says, had the wherewithal to build most any type of house he wanted. He chose the mission (or craftsman or Prairie) style, popularized in the 1930s by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Today’s owners restored the home in that style. They scraped off 18 layers of paint, replaced the wiring and otherwise took steps to make the property safe and useable while exposing the home’s original charm. Both when the house was built and in its restoration, the owners paid close attention to every detail.
Arched doorways and oak floors with mahogany inlay downstairs and pine upstairs are among the eye-catching features. There are unique ceiling styles from room to room: a diamond-shaped drop-down in the main hallway, oval-shaped indentation in the living room and a baffling curved ceiling in the dining room.
The octagonal glazed bay sunroom topped by a white-columned overlay dates to the home’s origins. The uncommon room touts folding French doors to close it off from the spacious living room, which showcases a decorative fireplace.
Stairs lead to a basement that could be converted to a wine cellar. One room has 18-inch thick concrete protection: It was built as a bomb shelter prior to World War II. “There’s electricity, everything,” Marshall says. “During a hurricane, you would be totally safe,” she says.
Underpinning the kitchen are stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, maple cabinets and lithe, brownish cork floors. “Nothing breaks, plus it’s good on your feet,” Marshall says. Off the kitchen is a small breakfast room.
The residence comprises three bedrooms upstairs, and extra storage space is reachable by ladder in the attic. The master bedroom is in the front west corner where oaks overhang. “That is my favorite room,” Marshall says. “This is in the trees.”
The two bathrooms upstairs were remodeled in keeping with the ’30s time period. The master bathroom has a small but significant feature showcasing the Longs’ wealth and stature in Depression-era times. “Two shower heads: Is that not unreal?” she says.…
In Range: Stately village on East Cooper sound touts enclaves, new-home choices from builder Wieland – The Post and Courier
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
You’d be hard pressed to argue that Hamlin Plantation — just east of Rifle Range Road — is off the beaten path.
But the emerging Mount Pleasant neighborhood, just 15 years old, is at least a little insulated from the region’s sometimes hectic environs.
Residents remark about how quiet it is, what with Hamlin Sound on the east and moderate but hardly bumper-to-bumper traffic approaching the subdivision from the west.
Once inside Hamlin Plantation, the neighborhood spreads out in four directions so residents can move even farther away from the hustle and endure just an occasional bustle.
There are four existing enclaves: Waverly, The Sound, The Village and Madison. They are enough distinct that each hamlet has a representative on the Hamlin Plantation advisory board. At the same time, a new community of townhomes, One Hamlin Place, has opened.
Orchestrating these neighborhood growth patterns is John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. The Atlanta-based builder was an original contractor when Hamlin Plantation broke ground in 1997 and has been there since then.
Jennifer Nilsson, vice-president of marketing, cites four attractions that Wieland touts in its promotions at Hamlin Plantation: natural surroundings, resort-style amenities, quaint streetscapes and “friendly” front porches.
While peaceful, the neighborhood has its share of active attractions such as many miles of walking and jogging trails.
“This private haven,” Nilsson says, overlooks marsh, palmettos, oaks and other “breathtaking natural surroundings” while simultaneously offering a complement of indoor and outdoor amenities.
Most notable is The Club at Hamlin Plantation, distinguished by a two-story plantation style clubhouse. The complex also showcases a swimming pool, sporting a waterslide and wading pool, that’s large enough for aquatic competitions. Nearby are five lighted tennis courts, a fitness center and children’s playground. Boat storage is also available.
Wieland, meanwhile, has kept pace with demand by constructing new homes and unveiling additional residential sections.
• New homes in Waverly at Hamlin Plantation. The residences range in size from 2,650 to 3,825 square feet and include first floor “owners suites,” third levels and large porches. Buyers can choose existing Wieland floor plans, visit the builder’s Home Design Studio for personal touches or customize from the ground up. Available are marsh view and interior wooded homesites. The homes are priced from the mid $ 400,000s to the $ 600,000s.
• Luxury townhomes underway at One Hamlin Place. Nilsson says that buyers can enjoy the high-end features of single-family houses without the hassles of yard care. The two-story attached residences are 2,925-square-feet and larger and priced in the upper $ 300,000s. Among the perks are roomy kitchens, formal dining rooms and master suites with spa baths and screened porches. Alleys run behind the townhouses, which offer three-car, drive-under garages. Elevators are an option.
Even in its removed setting, Hamlin Plantation is not far from recreation and entertainment places. The Isle of Palms connector to the beach is a few miles south as are Mount Pleasant shops and restaurants.
The community has gradually matured as a convivial neighborhood with residents hosting dress-up Oscar parties and Waverly launching a garden club in 2009. There’s even an website called ILoveHamlinPlantation.com.
Mary Bowers, president of the Waverly Garden Club, posts a newsletter online.
“In the spring the plants flourish, but by the middle of June they really start to wane. So with this being said, try not to fret. Remember we chose to live in this beautiful subtropical summer climate.”
On the ILoveHamlin website, one article focuses on residents and why they moved to Hamlin Plantation.
Wife and husband Fran and Jim Taggert relocated from downtown Charleston because of the traffic and tourists.…
Published: Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.
Hundreds gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic green and pink plantation house off La. 311 in Houma Saturday.
Southdown Plantation officials celebrated the formation of the museum and the board that protects and preserves it with an afternoon of food, music and dancing by the Bayou Eagles dance troupe affiliated with the United Houma Nation Indian tribe.
Southdown Plantation’s Executive Director Rachel Cherry said museum officials had a great turnout, with as many as 250 people touring the plantation home.
“That was our biggest goal, not to make money but to get the community involved,” Cherry said.
Officials hope to draw visitors to the plantation for more than just events. The plantation house is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday for tours through the summer, Cherry said.
The plantation house is a tribute to Terrebonne’s cultural and historical ties to the sugar cane industry.
Southdown was first established as an indigo plantation in 1821. But William J. Minor and James Dinsmore soon bought the 1,020-acre property, which they converted to a sugar cane plantation in 1831.
The Southdown Plantation House was built in 1859 and renovated in 1893 into the Victorian-style home seen on the site today. Four generations of the Minor family lived on the plantation until 1936, along with hundreds of mill workers, field workers and their families.
The Southdown Mill, located adjacent to the Southdown Plantation House, was one of the last operating sugar mills in Terrebonne Parish. It closed in 1979.
In 1972, a group of concerned residents formed the Terrebonne Historical and Cultural Society, hoping to preserve the history of the parish, including Southdown Plantation. In 1975, the plantation house, servants’ quarters and 4.6 acres of land were donated to the society by Valhi Inc.
Over the next eight years, the society raised $ 100,000 to restore the old house, which was in poor condition, to what is seen today.
Houma resident Sarah Ross said she often drives by Southdown Plantation and attends events on the grounds, but she’d never toured the plantation home.
She said it was surprising to find such a beautiful piece of history in her own backyard.
“We go to the Ladybug Ball every year, but I’ve never been inside,” Ross said. “It was really neat to learn about the history behind this place.”
Southdown officials also celebrated the opening of a new edition to the plantation. Years ago a cabin from the nearby Hollywood Plantation dating back to 1885 was donated to Southdown. It was opened to the public for the first time Saturday.
The cabin was first a slave cabin and then a home for workers on the plantation, Cherry said.
Walking into the surprisingly small space, it was hard to imagine an entire family occupying the home, Ross said.
In the future, museum officials said they hope to turn the plantation home into an archive of Terrebonne’s history and bring in more touring exhibits.
“If you haven’t been out here before, come and see us,” Cherry said.
Nikki Buskey can be reached at 857-2205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.