HGTV Crowns Best Historic Home of 2018

HGTV’s wildly popular online contest, the Ultimate House Hunt 2018, has come to a close, with the 86 finalists from 13 countries receiving more than 880,000 votes. Houses were divided into several categories, included waterfront homes, amazing kitchens and modern masterpieces.   The winner of the contest overall is an incredible oceanfront villa in Sardinia, but there were several standouts from the other categories. Take the winner of the historic category, for example. The 1834 Robert Smalls House, located in the historic district of Beaufort, South Carolina, has all the quaint charm of the past, with its two-story wide front porches and lush gardens.
The Smalls House is the epitome of a southern plantation home, nestled in a half-acre of land with a long history. Smalls was born a slave in 1839, but in the Civil War, Smalls actually gained his freedom: by impersonating the captain of a Confederate transport ship and sailing straight into the arms of the Union Navy. Though a hero in the North, Smalls was nothing but a traitor in the South, and so Smalls returned to Beaufort post-war. His former home was deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
The Smalls House, surrounded by the Beaufort River, is located next to the city’s business district. The 4,264-square-foot, three-level house includes four bedrooms and three baths. Formal living and dining rooms mirror the traditional feel of the house, with family rooms and chef’s kitchen at the rear of the home. The second level has two bedrooms, as does the first level, which also has an office/music room. A family room with beamed ceilings and French doors opens to the rear garden, with lush plants reflecting detailed design. The 1834 Robert Smalls House was listed for sale at $1.49 million, and is now under contract.

Photos courtesy of TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Bar Harbor, the summer stomping ground of elites such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Astor family and President William Taft, is home to East of Eden — a mansion that survived a fire that destroyed most of the town in 1947.

One of Maine’s last Gilded Age mansions, East of Eden, is now for sale in Bar Harbor. The Gilded Age was a glittering era that took place after the American Civil War in the late 19th century, and was filled with economic growth from new technologies and new ways of organizing businesses. East of Eden, formerly known as Eegonos, was one of the few Gilded Age mansions in Bar Harbor that survived a fire in 1947 that destroyed most of the town. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
With its picturesque New England coastline, it wasn’t too many years after the British settled the area in the late 1700s that the people of the upper class decided Bar Harbor — originally known as Eden — would be perfect for their summer retreats.
Bar Harbor was the summer stomping ground of elites such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Astor family and President William Taft who enjoyed playing his golf there. Nelson Rockefeller was born in Bar Harbor and kept a home in nearby Seal Harbor for many years. Today, the resort town’s summer season is filled with film and television celebrities, writers, artists, lobster rolls, water sports and ordinary people enjoying the scenery and laid-back atmosphere.
Designed by Guy Lowell, the home is a blend of Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival style. Its 15,000-square-foot manse construction was completed in 1909. The 2.5 story house is positioned on nine private acres of waterfront with a deep-water dock to tie up a yacht or to enjoy the sunset. There is plenty of room for guests and extended family with fourteen-foot ceilings, eight bedrooms and twelve baths. Old world features include a large marble foyer, columned separations between major public rooms, fireplaces finished in marble and wood, ceilings with decorative friezes and medallions and hand-painted wall murals.
In addition its the detailed restoration, all mechanical systems have been updated. There is also an eight-bay garage to accommodate owners and overnight guests. East of Eden is a quick drive to Arcadia National Park and Bar Harbor’s restaurants and shops.
One of Maine’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions, The Knowles Company has listed East of Eden for $15.5 million.

Photos courtesy of The Knowles Company Realtors

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