South Carolina Picture Project
 
South Carolina Picture Project

Quarters K Panama House — North Charleston, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County  |  Quarters K Panama House


18 Best South Carolina Gifts Ever
Quarters K Panama House

This Panama House at the former Charleston Navy Base in North Charleston is one of several similar structures built by the Works Progress Administration in the Officers’ Quarters District during the late 1930s. They were called Panama Houses because their design was borrowed from the Army Quartermaster plans used in the Panama Canal zone. This particular home, Quarters K, was built in 1937.

Panama House Quarters K

Adam McConnell of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Navy Yard, as it was originally called, was developed in 1901 after the federal government purchased the newly-landscaped Chicora Park, designed by the Olmsted brothers a few years earlier in 1896, from the City of Charleston. The former park then became a lush backdrop for the elegant homes of Navy officers. In addition to Quarters K, these homes included Quarters A, or the Admiral’s House, Quarters C, and Quarters F, and Quarters H-I, among many others.

Quarters K

Adam McConnell of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Following the 1996 closure of the Charleston Navy Base, the historic homes sat vacant until a private development firm sought to restore and sell them. Called the Noisette Company for the Noisette Creek that borders the district to the north, the company eventually foreclosed, selling the last of its property on the former Navy Base to the State of South Carolina in 2013. The state intended to raze the buildings in order to construct an intermodal railway for shipping containers.

Panama House

Kenneth Dodds of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The City of North Charleston sued the state and, as a result, was able to participate in a land swap that transferred ownership of the old neighborhood. The city intends to protect the officers’ quarters and renovate the district as a wedding and conference community. Quarters K was one of the city’s first projects and now hosts events. Its position near the Cooper River – adjacent to stunning Riverfront Park – makes it a desirable party venue.

Prior to the city’s ownership of Quarters K, three sisters purchased it from the Noisette Company in 2010 and converted it into a Caribbean restaurant. Quarters K is listed in the National Register as part of the Charleston Navy Yard Officers’ Quarters Historic District. Specific details regarding Quarters K are as follows:

Quarters K was one of the first four of the WPA constructed “Panama houses.” Completed in 1937, it was the northernmost of them, oriented to both the river and overlooking the golf course. The Panama house was adapted form Army Quartermaster plans designed for use in the Panama Canal Zone, hence the local name “Panama houses”. Their design development and construction show significant advances in the modernization of the life style of the officers and their families utilizing contemporary such as a room for “multi-purpose” use. The form draws form a mix of styles popular during the late 1930s in residential design. The principal identifying features are related to the Prairie style house form. This was one of the few indigenous American styles. Typical characteristics of the style are the low pitched hip roof with widely overhanging eaves, the building’s two-story form, the tall ribbons of casement windows, and the box-like shape. Other characteristics of the style are seen in the horizontal banding created by the German siding and the strong dark colored trim bands. This is seen again at the horizontal run of the dark painted fascia at the eave. The appearance of the oversized pier design is also typical emphasized by the recessing of the first floor wall bays.

Features of the modern International style are also evident. Elements of the International style are seen in the smooth white stucco finish, the crisp cast concrete stair that uses the stair to create an asymmetrical prominently projecting stepped feature to the elevation. The upper landing of the stair is actually the cantilevered second level floor slab that provides access to the secondary kitchen entry.

The flush setting of windows at the second level’s outer wall with simple ribbon-like trim is also a characteristic of the style as is the front door’s non-accentuated presence obscured within the first floor’s screen porch and the garage’s feel of being incorporated into the façades design as a simple rectilinear puncture or hole. The primary influence, however, is in the “functionalism” planning aspects of the style. The decoration has been stripped from everything that is not functional. There are no doors to divide the living porch from the living room and the main rooms have an almost streamline effect. The expanse of window wall created by the first level glass block at the reception room is a classically modern. The last of the stylistic influences is a through back to the Colonial Revival style and applies only to the interior design. In some of the interior rooms classical Colonial Revival details recall the style so prevalent within the Officers’ Quarters Historic District.

Reflections on Quarters K


Contributor Kenneth Dodds shares, “This house is at the old Navy Base in North Charleston (Chicora Gardens); it is called a Panama House and was built about 1937, complete with laundry chute and butler’s pantry. It was officer’s quarters; there are about twelve of these. They’re on the river, so they get plenty of breeze. They were sturdily built, with the two-story walls being poured concrete, as well as the interior columns.”

Add your own reflections here.

Quarters K Panama House Info


Address: 1045 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
GPS Coordinates: 32.868941,-79.966176

Quarters K Panama House Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!


Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

2 Comments about Quarters K Panama House

SC Picture Project says:
October 13th, 2018 at 3:47 pm

This is a wonderful recollection, Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing your memories with us! Would you mind if we added this to the page, with your name attached to it? We know readers get a much more personalized look at landmarks when we can attach first hand accounts, such as this, to them. Thank you again!

Cheryl Poplin says:
October 12th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

My the memories. Used to walk during lunchtime around this and the other Quarters at the Naval Base including the Admirals House. Even in the heat and humidity, somehow walking through the moss lined streets lined with azaleas, dogwoods, the birds chirping overhead was soothing. All the while, at the other of the base; pass the dry docks, Public Works and Building 234 (HQ), there sat SIMA, the Capt’s Club that served up a batch of fried shrimp and fries that was second to none. Or you could hop across the street to the Blue Water lounge near the old The Dental clinic there as well as Travel, the barracks, and best of all we cannot forget the ships!! Brings tears to my eyes, just glad to to see some of the restorations, especially the Eternal Father of the Sea Chapel. Words cannot describe.




SC PICTURE PROJECT

Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks

TOWNS & LANDMARKS

Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Sunsets Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York