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February 22, 2010

DNR Marine Resources Center receives award for historic house restoration

A recent exterior restoration of the historic Marshlands House at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Marine Resources Center has won an annual Caropolis Award from the Preservation Society of Charleston.

The society presented the award at its 90th annual meeting in January for restoration of the plantation house built in 1810 on the Cooper River and moved in 1961 to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fort Johnson facility on James Island in Charleston County.

The three-story house, placed on the National Register in 1973 and used as office space, faces the harbor and had deteriorated over the years despite regular maintenance.

With funding from the South Carolina General Assembly through a special appropriation, the department hired Liollio Architecture and IPW contractors to restore the exterior. Robbie Meyer, an 18-year DNR veteran, supervised restoration of the Marshlands House and another structure at Fort Johnson. The S.C. Natural Resources Board formally recognized the outstanding service provided by Meyer through this project by bestowing upon him its highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award.

The work included removing non-historic porch screening, and replacing steel hand rails with compatible wooden hand rails. Siding and shutters were repaired or replaced as was missing shutter hardware. The deteriorated standing seam roof was replaced in-kind, and mahogany-framed, copper window screen were reintroduced to allow proper ventilation.

Built on the Ball family rice plantation, the Marshlands House became part of the new Charleston Navy Yard in 1909 and originally served as officer quarters. When the Navy planned a new drydock on the plantation property, the Preservation Society of Charleston, working with the City of Charleston and the College of Charleston, secured founding to barge the building to its present location on property now owned by DNR.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.

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