As a child, Margaret Ravenel was part of a brood who gathered at her grandparents’ home on Lake Murray for holidays and the carefree weeks of summer.
When Ravenel acquired the property in 2005, she enlisted Columbia architect Michael Haigler and woodworker Allen Petroff to transform the modest brick house into a contemporary showplace with a sunset view of the water.
Ravenel added a second story topped by a private turret where her son Cory Alpert, 16, can survey the lake that takes in parts of four counties.
At one end of the house, she retained her grandmother’s cozy little den, which she uses as an art studio. The lawn is still lined by the daylilies and birdfeeders of her childhood, too.
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A Newfoundland named Gus lumbers across the yard, hoping to hear the magic word (“boat”) that means he can climb aboard a pontoon docked in the cove behind the house.
Alpert, a senior at Irmo High School this fall, said a love of the water creates a sense of community on Lake Murray. “If you’re just driving by on your boat, everyone will wave to you, even if they have no clue who you are,” he said. “That’s our shared experience.”
Dawn Hinshaw writes about people, historic preservation and county government for The State.