Friday, May 12th 2023
2023 Preservation Award | 3804 Palmetto Avenue
WINNER | Preservation, Rehabilitation, or Restoration
3804 Palmetto Avenue
Ebonn Twilley — Property Owner
Hamre Construction — Contractor
Situated on a sizable lot in the early Columbia suburb originally known as Park Place, 3804 Palmetto Avenue was erected as a one bedroom/one bathroom residence sometime between the 1920s and 1930s. Just under 600 square feet in size, the unique, gable-front house bore signs of multiple construction episodes of updating throughout the years, much of which had stripped its simple bungalow charm away.
When purchased by Ebonn Twilley in 2021, the building was livable, but in need of extensive repair, as its bathroom ceiling was crumbling, and significant rot undermined the tub. While the remainder of the building survived in relatively decent shape, Ebonn had a vision that went beyond updating. Demolition started in August 2021, but did not conclude until the following April, when rehabilitation officially began. Plans included moving the kitchen from the rear of the home to the front left, relocating the bathroom to the old kitchen space, adding a ½ bath and laundry space, and restoring the original pine clapboard siding then hiding under two layers of additional siding. Demolition revealed that the front left portion of the home had previously been a porch. At some point it, that open space had was enclosed by exterior walls haphazardly framed in with door remnants. This discovery led to the front left exterior walls having to be rebuilt, which provided a stronger structure and allowed for new siding to be added where three windows and a door had been removed. Some of the home’s original character that was restored or repurposed include the heart pine floors (saved where possible and matched with newer, wide-plank floors where needed), beadboard from a closet that was used as a ceiling covering in the half bath, the original fireplace and mantel, a small window from the back of the home and an original kitchen wall shelf in the new kitchen, three 5-panel doors (some as pocket doors), and three glass door knobs. The exterior siding was brought back to life after painstakingly removing two layers of additional siding, pulling more than 1700 nails, patching holes and cracks, and replacing old siding with new. Siding in good shape, pulled from the left side of the home, was recycled to other parts of the home where siding was in poor shape or needed repair. Windows were not replaced, but they were reglazed by the homeowner and broken glass replaced where needed. Other reclaimed pieces, not from the original residence, were added to create charm. Some of the salvaged goods include, the era-appropriate three-lite front door, the distressed bedroom doors, the half bathroom corner cast iron sink, a cast iron clawfoot tub, and the windows in the master bath and back office. The now custom-rehabilitated home provides dwellers with a well laid out 1 bedroom/1.5 half bath bungalow featuring all-new electrical and plumbing, spray-foam insulation, and a fully fenced back yard.
Preservation Award Plaque
While May is Preservation Month, Historic Columbia would like to encourage the community to recognize the significance of these award-winning projects all year. To that end, we have established a Preservation Plaque program. These plaques are designed for and available to past Preservation Award recipients.