Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Evergreen is a 14,000 square foot estate in Greenville, SC  by respected designer Jack Thacker. Situated on a parcel of land that was originally planned to be five separate lots, Evergreen (both the house and the gardens) represents a level of detail rarely seen. While Evergreen is no more than 15 years old, it has a timeless quality that makes it seem much older.
The house is approached by a long, winding driveway that terminates in a pea-gravel motor court. I adore pea-gravel drives. They tend to soften the "edge" on more formal styles of architecture, and the sound of a car's tires over pea-gravel adds an aural element to the arrival.

The front facade is a very symmetrical composition of limestone capped by a slate mansard roof and accented with copper guttering. Here, the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, but the details at the windows, the subtle line of the banding, the well-articulated cornice, and the repeating arched motifs are all carefully considered and worthy of appreciation in their own right.

The rear of the house is unrestrained by the symmetry that governs the front facade. Here the play of shapes is more fanciful. From this view, it's obvious that the design of the grounds has been given every bit as much thought as that of the house. I love the juxtaposition of the more tactile stone garden walls against the smooth limestone of the house. Here, one of many bronzes on the property anchors a terrace.

Another view of the exterior reveals the concealed guttering system. The green-gray of the trim is a subtle but appropriate choice.
This auxiliary is clad in the more rustic stone that is used throughout the grounds. The conservatory serves as a potting shed and overlooks this koi pond with another bronze.
The interior of the house carries through the same impeccable level of detail. The Chinese slate floor is an unexpected feature, but like the gravel motor court, one that I think softens the formality.

Gorgeous trimwork throughout the house. Notice the hidden door in the corner. I love how this room has an almost "accidental elegance", all of the pieces work together beautifully,  but it doesn't look contrived or over-decorated.

Here's the sunroom (pictured from the exterior a few shots up). It looks like one corner serves as a home office. Quite a view to work in, isn't it? The sky blue barrel vault is yet another playful touch that shows the house doesn't always take itself too seriously.

The house was on the market a year or so ago. A website was built for the marketing effort that is still up, and it features dozens of photos and much more information on the estate.

(all photos here by Stephen Vitosky)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for leading me this way! What a wonderful post...and what a beautiful home. Love the symmetry, the understated elegance and pea gravel driveway, though a pain is a great and authentic touch...hope to do that too! I will definitley be back here..thanks.
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