Real Estate

Historic Charleston Greek Revival Once Occupied By JFK Lists For $4.4M

A nineteenth-century Greek Revival in the heart of downtown Charleston, South Carolina, that was once the temporary home of John F. Kennedy has listed for $4.4 million. The home is being represented by Mary Lou Wertz of Maison Real Estate.

The property at 48 South Battery was originally built in 1846 for James Macbeth, who was the city’s mayor during the Civil War. Decades later, it became the first home of the Charleston Day School, between 1937 and 1939.

Complete with three-and-a-half stories and 14-foot ceilings, the home also boasts Waterford crystal chandeliers and a stone courtyard with an outdoor kitchen. A double piazza with water views is accessible from five floor-to-ceiling glass doors that connect to the home’s main living and dining rooms.

Several features are original to the home, including its wood fence and curved lattice gate, heart of pine floors, plaster moldings and medallions, and Italian marble fireplaces.

For easy outdoor entertaining, the kitchen features a French door opening out to the piazza, as well as an iron staircase that leads to a side courtyard. Wine storage that can accommodate 500+ bottles on the ground level, as well as a large temperature-controlled storage room on the upper floor, will also appeal to potential buyers hoping to entertain.

“With its own street access, [the] ground floor could easily be converted to its own apartment,” the listing description notes. “Perfect for a nanny, mother-in-law suite or rental income.”

Although there’s none currently installed, there is available space for a pool, the listing adds, and the current owners had plans for one created by Charleston-based landscape architect Sheila Wertimer.

In 1942, John F. Kennedy was stationed at the Charleston Navy Yard for a few months, during which time he reportedly lived at the MacBeth House. At the time, Kennedy was assigned to the Naval Station Charleston branch of the Office of Strategic Services, a department that would eventually become the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During this period in Charleston, Kennedy was immersed in an illicit affair with Danish actress-turned-journalist Inga Arvad, who was later suspected by the U.S. government of being a Nazi spy.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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