One of its recent achievements has been the renovation of the Missroon House at 40 East Bay St. that now serves as the Foundation’s headquarters. The reopening of the Missroon House has allowed HCF to make its archives and preservation materials more readily available to scholars and the public for the first time.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR WINDOWS
The renovation of Missroon House has also preserved an important, but long neglected, building that is a prominent site on the historic Charleston Battery. In addition to serving as headquarters for HCF, the renovated building features an archives collection room, technical library and technologically equipped meeting spaces that are accessible to professionals, students and property owners interested in renovating historic houses.
One of the most interesting aspects of the renovation is that the original Charleston single house is now easily distinguishable within the context of the newer building that was wrapped around it in the 1920s. One is able to discern the original house by its exposed brick façade and original window replacements. This also presented a unique design challenge for the architect in charge of the Missroon House renovation.
Architect Ernest E. Fava, Jr., of the Charleston, N.C.-based e.e. fava architects, etc., paid careful attention to window treatments in the historic space to meet HCF’s special requirements for light control, privacy, UV-ray protection and style. “The goal was to provide the nationally recognized Foundation with a clean, functional, well-designed product for light control,” said Fava.
Hunter Douglas’ Remembrance shades in Sheerweave were appropriately selected because they “met the functional requirements with an understated elegance that did not compete with the design features of the renovated historic building.” Additionally, the semi-sheer, vinyl-coated fiberglass and polyester screen product has an openness factor of five percent, which allows for a soft, diffused view, moderate privacy and, most importantly for an institution dedicated to preservation, protection against 95 percent of the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays.
MISSROON HOUSE RENOVATION Project: Historic Charleston Foundation headquarters, Charleston, SC. Architect: e.e. fava architects and Dufford Young Architects, LLC., Charleston, SC Product: Hunter Douglas Remembrance window shades in Sheerweave 2000 fabric. Window Treatment Supplier: Ging & Co. Window Coverings, Charleston, SC
PRESERVING MORE THAN A BUILDING
Locating HCF headquarters at the Missroon House essentially saved this historic building from other uses that may not have been as desirable in such a high-profile, sensitive location. In addition, the Foundation’s locating there preserved very valuable public open space on Charleston Harbor’s waterfront that might otherwise have been blocked by development.
From its waterfront location overlooking Charleston Harbor, the Missroon House has born the brunt of the best and worst of Charleston’s history during the past 200 years, including a front-row seat for the bombardment of Fort Sumter during the Civil War, numerous hurricanes, fires, floods and the largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast.
Built by Capt. James Missroon in 1808, the Missroon House began as a simple Charleston single house on the waterfront before undergoing a series of expansions and renovations. In the early part of the 20th century it served as a boarding house before being heavily damaged in the hurricane of 1911. It stood abandoned until it was purchased and again renovated by the Omar Shriners Masonic Order in 1925. The Foundation acquired the property in the fall of 1996.
Now, thanks to careful renovation and thoughtful design, the Missroon House will continue to serve as a monument to Charleston’s past, as well as for the betterment of its future.