Welcome to the Thomas Ball House, circa 1775. Early owners included Thomas Ball, a colonial governor of South Carolina and Landgrave appointed by the Lords Proprietors, the Robert Chisolm family, prominent landowners, and by the 1830s, the Thomas Gadsden family, who were leading public figures of the Revolutionary War period. This home is located on the brick bend of Church Street facing south, steps from White Point Gardens. 13 Church is a stunning example of a Charleston single house, built from a wood frame with cedar clapboard siding. The separate two-story kitchen house was added shortly after the main residence, and a third floor with clipped gambrel roof was likely added in the 1880's. The home is covered by the original standing seam metal roof.
The home features classically inspired details including the entryway and columns lining the double piazzas. Upon entering the foyer, one is greeted by the original heart of pine floors and hand blocked and hand printed wallpaper, which extends up the stairwell to the third floor. Exquisite period mouldings, many of which are original, can be found throughout the home.
The foyer is flanked by the traditional living room and dining room. The living room's stunningly ornate mantel was replaced in the early 19th century, but retains the original design. The dining room beautifully accommodates formal entertainment and flows easily into the gourmet kitchen.
The current owners upgraded the kitchen to a state-of-the-art, modern culinary space, including a Sub-Zero fridge, Miele dishwasher, and Viking 6 burner stove, double oven, and bread warmer. Custom cabinetry was installed throughout and reclaimed wood from the kitchen house was used to construct the island. A breakfast nook overlooks the piazza and garden.
Directly off of the kitchen, an elegant fanned staircase descends into the spectacularly renovated kitchen house/family room with soaring 20' ceilings, original cooking and laundry fireplaces, original brick and wood beams, and repurposed wood flooring. Structural steel was included to reinforce all openings, the brick was repointed, and columns were constructed to camouflage the structural steel. Wood beams from the walls and ceiling were milled and customized to cover the exposed steel in the ceiling. A wet bar and powder room were added to complete this unique, historic space with Sub-Zero wine and beverage refrigerators. An Italian marble sink provides a luxurious touch to the powder room.
The second floor renovations exhibit how well a historic home can be adapted to 21st century comfort. Master and guest bedrooms share access to the second floor piazza which overlooks Church Street and the garden.
The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom with dual marble vanities, multiple cabinets, private water closet, walk-in shower, and soaking tub which overlooks the piazza and garden. A working gas fireplace, built-in closets, and separate cedar walk-in closet complete the master suite.
The formal drawing room serves as the second floor guest room with beautiful views of Church Street, a fireplace with original decorative mantel, cornice moulding with Vitruvian scroll design, and a very rare element: a full bathroom with shower, added by the current owner.
The third floor has two guest rooms, each of which has two closets and breathtaking views of Charleston's rooftops. A shared bathroom with shower is in the hallway. The back bedroom leads to the original sunroom, which now functions as the utility and exercise room, and an adjacent summer porch. The porch and sunroom have panoramic views of the neighboring historic homes, including the Calhoun Mansion.
Outside, slate stairs lead from the first floor piazza to a lush, tranquil garden with reflecting pool. The double piazzas are each 54' long and perfect for entertaining and enjoying the Charleston sea breeze. The welcoming cobblestone slate drive accommodates multiple vehicles.