Originally created 10/12/03

From eyesore to eye-catcher



Family members thought Tracey and Kelly Buchanan were a little crazy when they decided to purchase their North Augusta home 14 years ago.

"We were told the city was close to condemning the house," said Mr. Buchanan of the Victorian-style home. "Vagrants staying in the master bedroom started a fire. It was amazing it hadn't burned down."

Mrs. Buchanan had always wanted a home with a wrap-around porch, and the couple could see the potential the house had. Built about 1909, the 3,800-square-foot home has three floors with five bedrooms.

Although they purchased the home in February 1989, they couldn't move into it until November 1989.

"It was down to the bare studs," said Mr. Buchanan, co-owner of Buchanan Auto Sales, who did most of the work himself.

Though they couldn't save some of their home's original details, they were able to achieve the Victorian-era feel of the home by saving pieces of other area buildings that were being torn down. A feature photograph in The Augusta Chronicle of a Walton Way home being demolished led to the acquisition of their back door, and the detailed ceilings in the living room and dining room were salvaged from two early 20th-century warehouses.

Many family antique pieces furnish the home.

Most of the home is decorated in a Victorian style accented with bold burgundies and greens and many vivid floral patterns. Mrs. Buchanan made the home's window treatments.

On the second floor, there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom is decorated in a Victorian style and the master bathroom in an Oriental style.

The second upstairs bedroom belonged to their son, Charlie, a senior at North Augusta High School. He recently moved to the finished attic on the third floor that his two older sisters once lived in.

Charlie's old bedroom has a cowboy theme. Painted in gold, the walls are accented by a mural of a Western scene. Southwestern designs are stenciled along the top. Framed shadowboxes with arrowheads hang on the walls, and a pair of children's cowboy boots sit in the corner of the room.

One of the couple's favorite places is outside the home - the porch. Mr. Buchanan restored the front porch and the covered back porch, which houses a hot tub.

"I love this," said Mrs. Buchanan of the outdoor space.

AT HOME WITH ...

THE FAMILY: Kelly and Tracey Buchanan, and son Charlie, 17

THE HOUSE: An almost century-old Victorian-style home in North Augusta

THE BASICS: 3,800 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.

IT'S A FACT: Built as a single-family dwelling, the home became rental property and later was abandoned. Vagrants lived in the home when the Buchanans bought it, and the master-bedroom floor still bears the scars of being used as a fireplace.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927 or czbrackett@hotmail.com.