‘Like a mu­seum’: His­toric home near Five Points sells

The State - - Local - BY JEFF WILKIN­SON jwilkin­son@thes­tate.com Jeff Wilkin­son: @wilkin­son_J­eff

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.”

JOSHUA BOUCHER jboucher@thes­tate.com

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.

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