Office Space in The Schoolhouse Opens Near Avondale
As a long time resident of Ashley Forest off of Magnolia Road, I have been speculating with neighbors for years about what would become of the former Magnolia House at the corner of Sycamore and Magnolia. My next door neighbor Rodney had walked to Albemarle Elementary School as a child in the mid 1960's and had fond memories of his years there. The school was opened in 1944 for around 260 students a year and became a center of the nearby community until it was closed in 1977. It saw various uses from then until it was bought in 1989 and converted into an assisted living and nursing facility. Eventually the property was abandoned and sat empty for several years until...
Founded in 2007, the Charleston Parks Conservancy was established to bring various resources together for the benefit of green space in our community. This local non-profit established Magnolia Park on the 4 acre site surrounding the building, then deeded the property back to the city as a park. The Community Garden and its Pavillion were built and are available for use year round.
In 2016 the 25,000 sq ft building was purchased for $4.1 million and work began on its conversion into 20 office spaces. The acoustic drop ceilings were removed throughout for exposed beams, a glassed-in conference room was constructed, and bathrooms were updated. The 250 seat auditorium has been renovated into a space for possible community activity as well as corporate events.
The design of this Adaptive Reuse project was undertaken by Charleston Architect Reggie Gibson, A.I.A. who also was responsible for the creative habitat enclosures at the Birds of Prey Center in Awendaw that I covered in a previous blog post.