Swallowtail Architecture Wins Conceptual Approval for Renovation of Historic Building

Summary: Swallowtail Architecture received design approval to renovate a historic 1800s Fort Moultrie building as part of the larger residential development on Sullivan’s Island.

Lowcountry Historic Renovations

Sullivan’s Island, SC; Jan 19, 2017 – Swallowtail Architecture of Summerville has received design approval for the renovation of a Fort Moultrie building dating back to the 1800s. The Sullivan Island project, one of Swallowtail’s three current Lowcountry historic renovations, originally served as an Ordinance Shop within the fort.

In January, the project received Conceptual Design Approval from Sullivan’s Island Design Review Board to strip away later additions, uncover the original building and renovate it into a 1200-square foot single unit residential cottage.

Sullivan Island homeowner Emmett Lynch, speaking at the DRB meeting, praised the “thoughtful and lovely design solution.”  It proposes reclassifying the Ordinance Shop as a “special exception” historic cottage, under a zoning ordinance with strict parameters. This enables property owners to accommodate historic structures by allowing them to build a second building as the principal residence on the property.

The design restores the original shape and massing of the Ordinance Shop, re-introduces lost details and proposes construction of a new home behind the historic cottage, one that is sensitive to both the scale and massing of the historic cottage.

Significant Challenges of Historic Renovations

Fort Moultrie was decommissioned after World War II and all of the outbuildings surrounding the original fort enclosure sold. Most were renovated and adapted for residential use. In the past 15 years, Sullivan’s Island has increasingly recognized the value and importance of these buildings, some over 120 years old, and enacted zoning ordinances to protect this unique legacy.

Stephen Herlong, acting chair of the DRB, noted the “significant challenges” of renovating the Ordinance Shop, due to its original use, subsequent additions and other changes that covered much of the original building. He noted that some of these later additions may also have historical value.

Swallowtail specializes in residential architecture on Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Summerville and in the Lowcountry around Charleston, South Carolina. The firm is known for its familiarity with the zoning ordinances, with proven experience as well creating designs that win approval from the local Boards of Design Review.

Swallowtail proprietor and architect Rachel Burton says the firm especially welcomes renovations or additions to historic homes, and projects on sites that are more challenging to develop because of existing trees or setback constraints. For more information, contact rachel@swallowtailarchitecture.com, or call 843-885-9400.

Rachel Burton of Swallowtail Architecture

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