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Restoring a 1788 House in Charleston, S.C., With a Walled Garden

  • November 30, 2021

They looked at more houses while consulting with Eddie Fava, of the Charleston firm E E Fava Architects. Ms. Taylor was game for buying a house that needed some cosmetic updates, although after living through a full-blown renovation in Connecticut, she set a guiding principle for their search: “I didn’t want a project,” she said.

But that was before Mr. Taylor fell for a stately Federal house from 1788 in the South of Broad neighborhood. The house was 8,130 square feet, with expansive rooms and its own walled garden. But it needed a thorough restoration and updating, which they wanted to avoid. Still, Mr. Taylor couldn’t get the house out of his head, so he asked Mr. Fava to take a look.

Mr. Fava came back with a glowing report: “I said, ‘It’s everything you don’t want to do, but it will be everything you want, without a doubt.’ I said, ‘It’s the big project. It’s going to be way more than you thought, but you’re going to be as happy as can be when it’s done.’”

The Taylors swallowed hard and bought the house for $5.35 million in January 2017. Then they moved into a rental down the street and began the long process of reviving the house with Mr. Fava, Betsy Berry, an interior designer, and Sheila Wertimer, a landscape architect and a partner of Wertimer Cline.

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