Update 12/21 – On my Battery walk yesterday, I popped by Villa Margherita, and caught a glimpse of the home, now surrounded by a large fence, and under construction!
I have had the pleasure of a glass of wine with the man who broke the story of the sale of the mysterious Villa Margherita in Downtown Charleston. The Post & Courier even consulted with him to write their article about it one day later. So who is this man in the know? And what is this Villa?? I’ll give you the back story.
About a year and a half ago, my inbox chirped with a lovely compliment on my blog from a gentleman named Ned Brown. A few emails later, we decided it would be a gas to meet up at our local favorite wine bar, Bin 152, to enjoy a chilled glass of Pouilly-Fuisse and to compare notes. You see, Ned Brown is a part-time Charleston man, self-appointed cheery curmudgeon and autuer for the New York Social Diary (apart from his private equity ‘day job’). He pens a delightful series on Charleston called the Charleston Social Diary in which not only does he cover society and all our interesting characters, but also he provides a treasure trove of history, perspective, photographs, and real estate news.
Which brings us back to the Mysterious Villa Margherita….
For many, many years, as I have rounded the Battery on foot or by bicycle, I take a pause in front of this spectacular, crumbling mansion at 4 South Battery. I’ve gazed up at its Corinthian columns, imagined what was behind its massive walls, and wondered who in the world lived there and how could they let it get like this. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. According to Ned, “The “Villa” has been an enigma in recent years even to local Charlestonians. Nobody can recall having been in the house in over thirty years, while it was owned by the same family since the early 1950s.”
Its history is illustrious, graced by names like Henry Ford, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. And now, the Villa Margherita will have new owners, Stephen and Mary Hammond, who come to Charleston via the path I took – New York City. I can’t wait to see how they give love to my favorite mystery mansion.
For the full story, history and great photographs (among other items of interest), hop on over to Ned’s article about it. I certainly look forward to his next installment (Interior photos of the home!)