‘Like a museum’: Historic home near Five Points sells
The historic Lyles-Gudmundson House in Wales Garden near Five Points has sold for $1.22 million.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, the brick-andmarble home is considered one of Columbia’s landmark houses.
“It’s one of the most iconic structures in the city,” said Graeme Moore of The Moore Co., who brokered the sale. “It’s like a museum.”
The house was purchased by Frank Penna, a pediatric urologist who is moving here from New Hampshire to practice at Prisma Health and teach at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He previously taught at the Dartmouth College medical school.
“I have an appreciation for historic homes, the craftsmanship and design,” said Penna, a New Jersey native whose greatgrandfather Giovanni immigrated from Naples, Italy, in the 1800s and worked as a mason in the Garden State.
James Brite of New York designed the house. Construction began in 1918, but was delayed for four years because of difficulty obtaining materials from Europe. The national register describes the two-story Classical Revival home as built of English bond brick with marble trim and a semicircular portico with marble columns on the east façade.
The 6,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-ahalf-bathroom house features a pool and courtyard, all-original windows, four wood-burning fireplaces and 10-foot ceilings.
It was built as a wedding gift for Evelyn Robertson Lyles, the daughter of prosperous Columbia banker Edwin Wales Robertson. Robertson was responsible for much of Columbia’s early twentieth century development, and founded Wales Garden, which bears his name, as one of the capital city’s first suburbs.
Penna said moving during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge.
“There are many, many instances where I wondered if should do this at this time — safely issues,” he said. “But it’s been relatively straight forward. Everybody has been great and interacting virtually. But it was a little more stressful in all this craziness, I’ll admit that.”
He said that compared to the northeast United States, things are more relaxed here.
People in New Hampshire “are impacted more because of the proximity to New York and Boston,” he said. “A lot of people are really hestitant to come out and get those (real estate) things done.”
He is still trying to sell his house in Hanover, New Hampshire. “There’s been very little foot traffic,” he said.
The Lyles-Gudmundson House is the second landmark home to sell near Five Points in the past seven months.
The Wallace McGee House, an Internationalstyle home designed by famed architect Edward D. Stone, sold in October for $997,500.
That house — a fivebedroom, five-bath, 4,850-square-foot home in Wales Garden — was described by Zillow as “a national treasure.”
The Lyles-Gudmundson House, a home on the National Register of Historic Places, on Seneca Avenue in the Wales Garden neighborhood on Wednesday. The iconic double balcony opens from the living room and master bedroom.