Multiple slices of heaven at ‘chic compound’ South of Broad
“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,” quipped Benjamin Franklin in his witticism-packed Poor Richard’s Almanack. But Ol’ Ben may have been able to abide his friends better than his fish if only he had lived at 107 Tradd. That’s because of how the home uses its ample-but-not-outlandish 3,428 sq. ft.: It’s divided across four separate structures, both contemporary and historic, sporting six bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths. Gardens by Sheila Wertimer and Glen Gardner tie the deep lot together, packing maximal magic into every inch of the property’s fifth-of-an-acre footprint.
From the street, things start with the two-story garage. It looks like it’s been there for well over two centuries, but in reality it’s a modern addition from the drafting board of Beau Clowney. The high-ceilinged first floor was designed for a car lift to multiply your parking; the upstairs loft has a large door to the exterior with block-and-tackle for lifting, allowing you to tuck away even large or awkwardly-shaped items without trudging up the stairs. There’s a full bath, up there too.
From the garage, it’s on to the main house. You enter into a dramatic multi-story stair hall with ample space for statement-piece scaled art, but enough drama to dazzle all on its own. On your left is the dining room, with built-in flush-mount wall cabinets with a decorative motif of hand painted urns. To your right, a generously-sized formal room that will draw a crowd. From its dark wood floors to the set of triple French doors that give views and access to the courtyard beyond, it’s ready to host many an evening of Lowcountry hospitality.
Upstairs, though, is all about pampering the owners: The master suite takes up the entire floor and includes a light-filled bedroom with direct access to the terrace, his-and-hers bathrooms, his-and-hers closets, a fitness room and a spacious office. Should need arise, the office could readily be converted into a bedroom. If you’re the sort who needs “a place for everything and everything in its place,” head up to the third floor — there’s a charming bedroom with a pair of cozy window seats … and closets, closets, closets. Walk-in cedar closet, rows of tidy hideaways along the knee wall … it’s enough to make you wish you were wee, just for one grand game of hide-and-seek.
Leaving the main house, one passes through a central courtyard, where an ancient millstone, recovered on the site, centers a burbling fountain. Turning left across a petite patio that frames the entry, you arrive at the guest house. The iron railing on the second floor above the door sports a proud-looking federal eagle — an appropriate marker for the structure’s history. Sometimes called the Jane Ladson Kitchen House, the building was built as a dependency in 1790 on a lot Ms. Ladson purchased from the Legare family around the end of the Revolutionary War. The structure spent most of the 19th century in the Heyward family.
Sold after the end of the War Between the States to the Gatewood family, then to Capt. George Swan, a second home was built (likely after the earthquake of 1886) between this structure and Tradd St.; having been determined to be of little historical value, it eventually razed by 20th century owners Edwin and Jean Poulnot.
This old kitchen house was the only structure on the site when it was purchased in 1973 by Gen. William C. Westmoreland. After they built the main house, it served as “Westie’s” office. Today the long, narrow building enjoys double fireplaces on both floors, a full kitchen and bath, and extra-roomy guest bedroom up top. Friends and family could be well kept here — and for much longer than Franklin’s three days.
Ultimate peace and seclusion awaits: Beyond the guest house, high garden walls, lush foliage, stately palmettos and a meditation pool to reward visitors who explore all the way to the back of the property. A glass-walled gazebo, another Beau Clowney addition, is graciously appointed with a full bathroom and wet bar. It’s perfect for air-conditioned summer solace or a warm spot in the winter, a quiet nest for a writer or artist to ply their craft.
107 Tradd, currently on offer through Carriage Properties and listed by agents Barry Kalinsky and Charles Sullivan, is a singularly-perfect place for serious entertaining in the heart of South-of-Broad Charleston. It is welcoming compound with space for everyone, off-street parking for at least four vehicles, entertaining spaces inside-and-out, sized for every group and duration.