NORTH CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD) – The North Charleston Finance Committee has approved $350,000 for the Quarter’s ‘A’ Rehabilitation Project to proceed forward with interior designs. News 2 got an exclusive look inside the prestigious Admirals House, which is currently undergoing renovations.
The house, originally built in 1905 to house Admirals in the Navy, is the second oldest building on the Navy Shipyard. It is also by far the grandest. The house is said to have been the site of large parties and events for Naval officers. It it was most notably inhabited in the 1940s during World War II.
In 1996, when the base shut down, the surrounding area quickly declined, leaving the building to decay. According to Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston, it took awhile for anything to become of the old Shipyard.
Mayor Summey also noted that anything and everything that could be salvaged, was.
This is part of our history, we are showing respect for that history, and making sure that the generations to come will understand what the ship meant to all of us during the era it was here and then how ultimately we preserved what was here.Mayor Keith Summey
As far as design is concerned, Karrie Britton, the interior designer on the project, says that her approach will be unique. Rather than adhering to a full Neoclassical style, she will be taking the lives of the Admirals who stayed in the home into account.
Britton noted that many of the Admirals traveled the world, bringing back with them exquisite and exotic gifts. She wants to showcase those gifts in the decor. To do so, she will have special reproductions of some of the items made, and will find period antiques to match. She feels that this is the best way for her to honor the history of the house and its inhabitants.
The Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority says that once finished, the newly renovated space will be the largest venue in North Charleston. They expect it to be used primarily for weddings. It will also serve as a bed and breakfast for visitors wanting to explore the Chicora Park area.
Officials hope to finish construction by February 2020, and have the design elements in place by June or July.