Project: John Mark Verdier House Restoration, Beaufort
Awarded to: Historic Beaufort Foundation
Submitted by: Kyle Campbell, Preservation South
In the spring of 2021, the Historic Beaufort Foundation undertook the exterior restoration of the John Mark Verdier House on Bay Street. The home was saved from demolition by the foundation in the mid-20th century and has served as a museum ever since as well as the public face of the Historic Beaufort Foundation in the community. Over the years the building has gone through various interpretations as research has advanced our understanding of the home’s history. Due to the location, across the street from the Beaufort waterfront, the house is constantly bombarded by the elements. Over time this had caused significant damage to the exterior envelope of the Verdier House including split and rotten siding, rotten porch columns, spalling paint and deteriorated shutters.
Following a successful capital campaign, the foundation decided that all of these issues should be addressed at one time in order to limit the impact of the restoration on the surrounding commercial district in Beaufort. This also allowed the foundation to change the home’s exterior paint scheme to reflect its original construction era and align the exterior of the house with the interpretation. An exciting feature of the home’s restoration is a result of recent analysis of the building and archival research indicates that the Verdier House’s tabby foundation is the first use of Roman Cement in the state. As such, the look of the historic foundation was critical to the reinterpretation of the building.
Preservation South was brought in to plan and manage the restoration project in concert with the Foundation’s staff. Careful attention to the budget and schedule of the restoration was critical to the project’s completion before the tourist season made work in downtown Beaufort all but impossible. Greenbuild and Positive Outlook Painting, both Greenville based contractor and painter respectively, were hired to undertake the work.
This project was years in the making and serves as an example for other historic properties in Beaufort to be brought back to an authentic aesthetic for these buildings. It is the only building in the area that exhibits the look of an ashlar foundation and heightens the interpretive value of Beaufort’s only historic home open to the public.