News Flash

Town of Bluffton News Flash

Posted on: December 15, 2020

Bluffton’s Garvin-Garvey House receives fourth statewide award

Outside look at Garvin-Garvey House completedThe South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASC)  awarded Meadors, Inc., a Charleston-based multi-discipline historic preservation firm, a “Citation Award for Adaptive Reuse and Preservation” for the Garvin-Garvey House rehabilitation project during its annual award ceremony in November. 

The Town of Bluffton contracted Meadors, Inc. and its architects and historic preservationists to provide the research and the blueprint for the Garvey-Garvey House’s preservation and rehabilitation. 

The AIASC released a video about the awards in which jury members were quoted as saying, “The Garvin-Garvey House was on the verge of collapse. The rehabilitation represented an intensive and thorough investigation of the remnants to understand the original construction and its details. This investigation led to its restoration and the reconstruction of large portions of the house to bring back to its original form.  The design firm should be commended for its level of effort and commitment to preserving an important part of our heritage.” 

This is the fourth statewide award for the Garvin-Garvey House.  The Town of Bluffton has also received the following statewide awards for this project: 

  • 2018 Preserving Our Places in History Award, The Garvin-Garvey House Rehabilitation Project; South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, April 2019  
  • 2018 Historic Preservation Honor Award, The Garvin-Garvey House Rehabilitation Project; Preservation South Carolina, July 2018  
  • 2018 Municipal Achievement Award, 10,001- 20,000 Population Category “Historic Rehabilitation Enhances Tourism & Economic Development/Garvin-Garvey Project”; Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC), July 2018 

Betty Prime, the project architect for Meadors, said the Garvin-Garvey House was among the firm’s most challenging and rewarding projects. 

“The Meadors’ team members were honored to be a part of the Garvin-Garvey House project. Through intensive analysis of the existing building materials, our team was able to rehabilitate the building to close to its original form; allowing the building to act as a vessel to tell the story of the Garvin-Garvey family and a freedman in the Reconstruction Era.”

Mayor Lisa Sulka said the Garvin-Garvey House has received more statewide and regional attention than any other Town project in her memory. 

“It is the Town’s privilege to tell the story of the resilience of Cyrus Garvin and his family members.  The house, which is the last freedman’s cottage on the May River, was also infused with the family’s strength since it survived nearly 150 years. This project was on the Town’s radar for nearly 15 years and we are still as proud of this structure as we were during its unveiling in June of 2017.”  

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