An iconic home known for its hot pink exterior in the Shandon neighborhood in Columbia will rise again after being crushed by a large oak tree.
Severe damage from a storm in June led to demolition of the 83-year-old home at Sims and Wilmot streets three weeks ago after structural experts concluded it couldn’t be restored.
Razing the 1,700-square-foot home was painful for the owners. It was their dream dwelling long before they bought it in 2009 and worked hard to personalize it inside and out.
“We wanted to save it, but there were too many challenges,” owner Shari Hutchison said.
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One key element will be missing, as it proved impossible to restore – the home’s ceramic tile interior walls.
“Nobody could figure out how to replace that,” said Tim Carrier, Hutchison’s spouse. “The expertise to do that is gone.”
The new home will be a replica largely similar to the home’s Mediterranean style. And, yes, it will have the same flamingo hue on the stucco, Hutchison said.
“Our intent is to bring the house as close as possible to the original,” she said.
Plenty of people are happy to hear that.
“It’s part of Shandon’s landscape,” said state Sen. John Courson, a Republican who once lived across the street from the house. “I’m glad it’s coming back mostly the way it was.”
Modern standards won’t allow exact duplication. Building codes are more stringent now when you build from scratch.
There will be new windows, since those salvaged don’t meet modern insulation values. And the swimming pool was torn out to comply with restrictions dictating how close the home can be to those of neighbors and the streets, making the new version a little thinner and longer.
But other features, such as the kitchen cabinets, will be reused, builder Don Blackstone said. And a garage and a slate and brick patio remain.
Neighbors kept watch over the roofless-home and shooed away nosy visitors as Carrier and Hutchison explored repair or replacement over the summer.
But that help really started within minutes after the oak tree fell, as friends ran over to save the couple’s two dogs and remove paintings and other art that filled the home.
The couple had long worried about the stability of the tree, since limbs often dropped in storms, Hutchison said.
They were preparing for a vacation when the home was smashed, canceling the getaway and leading to a three-month odyssey on what to do with their ruined residence.
The house is so well-known that the pair view themselves as caretakers of a neighborhood treasure, one they hope will remain a local landmark in its new form.
They were used to strangers coming up and commenting about the home’s appearance, Carrier said.
“It is up to us to add character into the house and up to the neighborhood to invest in its care,” he said on social media.
Dawn Hunt, who lives next door, is happy as much that her neighbors will return as with restoration of a distinctive home.
“Their passion went into it,” Hunt said.
The demolition came with tears.
“People have told me that living in the new one (home) will be easier, particularly having roomier closets,” Hutchison said. “But I’d rather have what we had.”
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483