President Joe Biden and company are decamping on the South Carolina coast this summer, according to the White House. The beguiling beachfront summer cottage they selected readily charms, but it is the sand and saline-tinged air that gives it its most compelling context. The owner is Democratic donor Maria Allwin; the Bidens reportedly used the property for previous stays. It was listed for sale back in May for $20 million but was taken off the market about three weeks ago.
A craftsman-inspired 10,500 sq. ft. leviathan dating to 1993, the home’s exterior is dressed fittingly with cedar shingles and begins with a double-door entry which concludes a broad stone staircase and is surrounded by a huge array of glass panes; it looks as distinguished as a recent library at a smaller college or university.
The doors open onto a hallway which leads straightaway to a breathtaking evocation of space and freedom: a 2.5-height great room with a graceful, semi-barrel ceiling painted azure. A pair of opposed wood-burning fireplace with matching ornamental surrounds and an inlaid plank hardwood floor in a slightly enhanced tone also contribute to a first impression of the interiors.
As the shared spaces progress, the floor is a constant. Also coming into view: a kitchen with colorful, hand-painted tile backsplashes and a granite island cap, and a companion dayroom overlooking the dunes; a formal dining room with a fireplace; and a master bedroom with French doors that open to a covered deck overlooking the ocean. The staircase gets special mention here: it features a portal window and a whimsical newel that suggests the power grid off the cover of a pulp science fiction novel.
The grounds measure in at 2.07 acres. The layout includes a patio, pool and BBQ. Down on terra firma is a private boardwalk with bridge for navigating the dunes on the way to a morning spent surfcasting. Or reading a pulp science fiction novel.