Restoration of Historic Bluffton structure underway
Ashworth Construction Group to assist in the restoration of the Rate, a 1940s grocery store
- Date: 2-11-19
- From: Bluffton Today
Debbie Wunder wants to restore the building to the state it was in when Bluffton residents relied on it for some of the services the internet now provides. The plans are going through the town’s permitting process.
“Places like the Rate were kind of where the community would meet and find out information and things going on in the town,” said Wunder, a Los Angeles resident who attended Hilton Head Island High School and whose parents live in the area. “It was like a community center.”
Wunder said she and her husband recently were sad to see the state of “crumbling” historic buildings like the “red dot” liquor store on May River Road, which inspired her to buy and restore the Rate.
Other than adding a metal roof for longevity and a “low-profile” skylight, Wunder said, she plans to replicate the building’s original appearance. She is contracting the work with Amanda Jackson at Pearce Scott Architects, Edward Welch at Ashworth Construction Group and Josh Tiller at JK Tiller Associates.
Wunder’s said her research on the building led her to a study called “Rural Commerce in Context: South Carolina’s Country Stores, 1850-1950,” which outlines the importance a country store like the Rate could have in a town. She attached the study to her application with the town.
About Ashworth Construction Group
Ashworth Construction Group is a construction contractor company that specializes in a personalized design-build process for custom home builds and commercial construction in the Bluffton area. The firm was founded by Craig Whitley and Edward Welch, who have nearly 30 years of combined experience in the industry.