Before and After

Forlorn Cabin to Elegant Hunt Camp

How a South Carolina home came back to life

Houses with soul and history rank high on our list of reasons to love living in the South. And it’s always heartening to see a property in need of a revival loved back to life in a way that feels authentic to the place where it sits.

After all, who doesn’t love a great comeback story?

The Place: Whitehouse Plantation, Prince George Winyah Parish, South Carolina

The Architect: Steve Goggans, SGA Architecture

The History: Although the plantation house burned in the early twentieth century, leaving behind only ruins, this cabin, along with one other outbuilding, survived. It had been renovated once, but was in need of another. Because the property sits at the intersection of the Black and Pee Dee Rivers, and is a former rice plantation, it contains impoundments, making the property perfect for duck hunting.

The original cabin with a clumsy porch addition.

The Revival: “The new owners wanted to build a home on the property to serve as a second home and guest house,” says Goggans, who was tasked with reinventing the structure in 2013. “Their plans were to continue its use as a hunting plantation. Because of the conservation easement, the owners were limited in the amount of new buildable area. To build anything substantial meant that we would have to demo the existing structures. When I saw the cabin and the charm and character it had, there was no way I could advocate tearing it down—plus it occupied the premiere location on the property with respect to views. I became an immediate advocate for conserving the cabin, and adding wings and porches to each side. The choice of materials, colors, and their rendering were all derived from the vernacular vocabulary.”

Photo: "After" photos by Atlantic Archives, Inc./Richard Leo Johnson

Left to right: The view through the foyer to the grounds beyond; the landward side of the revitalized house showing the new flanking wings.

Our Favorite Part: The triple screen porches that supply panoramic views of the surrounding rivers.

Photo: "After" photographs by Atlantic Archives, Inc./Richard Leo Johnson


The master bedroom porch at sunset with the chimney ruins of the Whitehouse Plantation beyond.