Life at the Top

The People’s Building at 18 Broad Street was Charleston, South Carolina’s first “skyscraper.” At the time, many residents saw the building as a sign of progress. Others, however, were afraid it would ruin Charleston’s skyline. But President William Howard Taft, who viewed the city from the top of the building during its opening in 1911, said: “I don’t believe that it did ruin the skyline; if it did, the view from up here makes it worth it.”  The People’s Building is still all about the views!

The first two floors of the building are faced with Winnsboro granite, while the upper floors are faced with buff-colored brick and terra cotta. (When the building first opened, people came just to ride the steel frame elevators.) The nine-story building is constructed of concrete and steel and rated as fireproof. As of now, an art gallery, law firms, and businesses occupy the first four floors; the top five floors house seven private residences.

This lavish two-floor penthouse is located on the entire eighth and ninth floors of this historic building.  The penthouse features approximately 8,363 square feet of luxuriously appointed interior living space with three bedrooms and thee full and one half bathrooms. The main level features an open grand salon and living room, paneled formal dining room, gourmet kitchen with double islands, family room, library, and a 1,500-square-foot master suite. An elegant staircase leads to the second level, featuring two guest bedroom suites, den, billiard room, and another kitchen. Lavish details throughout the home include Turkish Limestone floors, two fireplaces, dozens of picturesque arched windows and exquisite custom light fixtures. There is also a 3,200-square-foot private rooftop terrace and garden. In addition, the penthouse comes with three private and gated off-street parking spaces.

Monique Gibson—an acclaimed designer out of New York who has designed homes for Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Meg Ryan, Conan O’Brien, and other celebrities—was tapped to help the owner create a special home out of the raw space. When the interior designer first saw the space, it was raw—mainly gutted concrete and steel.  Together, they conceived a space that would be intimate for small gatherings, yet able to host hundreds for parties and events, as the philanthropic homeowner frequently does. It is formal, yet very inviting and comfortable living space.  The renovation took four years, and the result is an elegant, exclusive, and sophisticated home with breathtaking and unique views atop the highest point in the city.  This property is truly one-of-a-kind in historic downtown Charleston.