Bluffton, South Carolina
Client: Private Owner
Scope of Services: Post-fire Documentation and Forensic Investigation; Restoration and Reconstruction
Design of the Gothic Revival style Rose Hill Plantation House is attributed to Edward Brickell White, prominent Charleston architect. Construction of the house was near completion when work was abruptly halted by the start of the Civil War. The work crews left their tools and scaffolding in place while they went off to fight in what was expected to be a brief interruption. The owners, the Kirks, went into hiding. During the war, Mrs. Kirk died and her husband never completed the work. Decades later the work was finally finished. In the 1940s a new owner expanded the house, somewhat disrupting the balance of the design configured on the Golden Mean. A fire, created by a malfunctioning furnace off the central hall, caused devastating damage to the entire house.
The restoration included reconstruction of the frame roof structure and installation of a new metal roof, toothing-in of matching board-and-batten siding, reconstruction of the porches and posts, reconstruction of doors and windows, reframing of floors and toothing-in of matching flooring, stabilization of walls and ceilings and replastering, reconstruction of the central staircase, and installation of new electrical, plumbing, and HVAC services.