This is a story about an abandoned estate located in the Upstate region. It’s not just about the stunning photographs of a magnificent old house being reclaimed by nature, but also a reminder of the saying that we often fail to appreciate something until it’s gone. This exquisite property in South Carolina, known as Bon Haven, was unfortunately demolished a few years ago. After years of neglect and gradual decay, it couldn’t be saved. However, we can still enjoy the beauty of this place through the many wonderful photos that capture its essence. The structure may no longer exist, but the memories of Bon Haven live on.
John B. Cleveland, often regarded as Spartanburg’s “first citizen,” constructed Bon Haven in 1884.
The historic home featured a unique architectural style that combined elements of Second Empire and Neo-Classical design from the 1920s. Its exterior included a castle-like turret, adding to its grandeur.
The property was located at 728 N. Church Street, but due to the overgrowth of plants and vegetation surrounding it, the house was barely visible from the street.
It remained on private property, limiting public access. Situated on 6.39 acres in the heart of Spartanburg, Bon Haven was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Although the grounds had been neglected for years, the reflection pool still retained its stunning beauty. It made one wonder if this was the only remnant of the once beautiful formal gardens that adorned the estate.
Here is another captivating photo showcasing the front facade of this stately home. Soon, we’ll explore images of the abandoned Bon Haven’s interior.
These exterior photos provide a glimpse into the long period of abandonment the house endured. The faded window air conditioner in the lower center of the image serves as a reminder of outdated equipment that was once part of this manor.
Despite its severe deterioration, Bon Haven’s architectural features and finishes remained remarkably stunning.
For instance, the window exhibited an impressive color palette and intricate moldings.
The porch railing was skillfully painted in complementary colors, adding to the overall appeal of the ancient Spartanburg home.
One of these might have been the brick “tea house” or servants’ quarters mentioned in the 1976 National Register of Historic Places registration form. Although uncertain, it’s enjoyable to speculate about the possibilities.
The estate also included several outbuildings at the back.
These photographs were captured in 2015 by Southern Accents Architectural Antiques’ YouTube channel. Subsequent discoveries revealed that a salvage firm was employed to remove and relocate Bon Haven’s interior features to another deserving house, preserving its legacy.
The main floor boasted a modest entryway with a tiled floor and lofty ceilings.
The doors and panels were made of walnut. At the end of the central corridor, just before the double doors, a staircase added a touch of elegance, as depicted in the image below.
The rear of the home housed a brick kitchen, which had unfortunately suffered significant damage. The ceiling was in poor condition, indicative of the overall state of neglect.
Despite the photographs being taken in February 2015, they vividly depicted the abandoned state of Bon Haven.
Strangely enough, one of the bathrooms, with its beautifully tiled wall, still appeared as if it was ready for the next person in line.
Even the built-in shelf next to the mirror and above the sink held a brand-new roll of paper, giving a sense of the past frozen in time.
This historic mansion in South Carolina was eventually destroyed to make way for an unknown development, despite efforts to rescue it.
There is no record of how many rooms the house had, or whether there were any estate sales or auctions to sell off its remaining belongings before its demolition. According to one source, some floors had been previously removed during the repurposing process.
We hope that further information about the history of this remarkable South Carolina gem will be uncovered, so that at the very least, its story can live on through documentation.