Charleston, South Carolina is a national treasure, with its roots and architecture going back further than America itself. The colonial era was good to Charleston, and many structures of the time still stand today amongst the City’s two-thousand-plus historic buildings.
The homes of Charleston are always in high demand due to their beauty and the range of architectural styles that help to make each one unique.
Every House Tells A Story
The townhouses you see around the City of Charleston are all special. They may share some architectural touches and influences, but you will struggle to find two identical homes. Each one tells its own story, and piece of Charleston’s history.
Many people move to Charleston to own a piece of its heritage, falling in love with the area and all its unique properties. If you are interested in moving there, you should know it is easy to search for homes for sale in Charleston by looking on EZ Home Search.
There are plenty of homes for sale in the area, and you can get a taste of the architectural style from the high-definition, full-color photographs in each listing. Working with real estate agents in Charleston is useful as they will be happy to help you find your dream home.
Some houses date back as far as the 16th century and played a crucial part in the early history of Charleston and South Carolina. The architectural motifs of these properties range from the Greek revival style that was popular in the early days of America through to Colonial, Federal, Gothic Revival, and Art Deco. A stroll through the Lowcountry is a walk through the architectural history of America.
The Singles And Doubles
The Charleston Single house is the most common sight in the historic residential areas of the city. The exterior stylings can vary from street to street and home to home, but the scale and shape of the structure remain the same.
These homes are defined by their long narrow shape and will often have a raised piazza above street level for entertaining in the evening. Balconies and verandas are common too, giving bedrooms some extra space and access to fresh air in the stifling summer heat.
The Charleston double is less common and can be found intermingled with single-style homes. These properties are twice the size of a single, using a double plot when they were built centuries before. Rather than being narrow, these homes are more of a box shape creating larger rooms.
They are often brick, with a front door directly on the street. Georgian-style doubles are a regular sight, as this was the dominant architectural style when doubles were popular with early house builders.
From Classical Revival To Art Deco
There is nowhere quite like Charleston. The city has a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, with endless Southern charm and the hospitality that comes with it. The town does not just serve some of the best cooking below the Mason-Dixon line, it offers a buffet of architectural delights that help make this town one-of-a-kind.
Begin with an appetizer from the Federal era and visit the Aiken-Rhett house on Elizabeth Street. This style of brick building, with shuttered windows and balconies, was inspired by British construction in London.
The Aiken-Rhett house, also known as Governor William Aiken House, was built in 1820 and is a textbook example of a Federal-era building. Greek Revival touches to the exterior were added later by Governor Aiken’s son, William Jr. The house remained with the family for more than 170 years, until it became a museum in 1975.
For an entrée, visit The Fireproof Building on Meeting Street. This Classical-Revival style building was constructed in the 1820s but was designed to reflect the Civil War-era buildings elsewhere in the city. It was a public home built to house public records and was made to be fireproof to protect them.
Many of the innovations in the design were replicated in other buildings across the country. Now it houses the South Carolina Historical Society, where you can find out even more about Charleston’s rich architectural history.
To finish this feast for the eyes, grab your dessert at The Huguenot Church on Church Street. This Gothic-Revival house of God was built in 1844. Its French-Protestant congregation has roots in Charleston, stretching back to the 1600s.
The pointed windows and pinnacles give the Church a continental European castle-like look, and it is still a church to this day; you can catch a Sunday Service at 10:30 am every week.
Painting The Town
There is a rainbow of colors on the street of Charleston, and you can find homes in just about every color and shade you can think of. This is one of the city’s most recognizable features and keeps visitors coming back for more.
This trend began in the early 1930s after a local woman called Dorothy Porcher Legge decided to bring some color and joy to a rundown section of East Bay Street. She painted the homes pink, and suddenly others started to follow her lead with yellows, reds, and blues. The pastel shades of these homes have been a tradition now for nearly a hundred years and show no sign of stopping.
Some streets stick to a theme, like the reds and blues you can find on Broad Street, but if it looks like it fits any color can be used. For the biggest variety of pastel-painted homes, take a trip to the waterfront homes of ‘Rainbow Row‘ on East Bay Street; where it all began.
Take A Walking Tour Of Charleston Homes
The architecture of Charleston is one of its biggest tourist attractions. People take a trip to Charleston all year round to simply stroll through the streets and take an architectural trip through time. It is so popular that walking tours are doing big business downtown.
There are plenty of tours to choose from, and some are even free. A Charleston Architecture tour will take you through the colonial era to modern-day structures, and everything in between. The city has a rich history, literally. Charleston was the wealthiest settlement in the wealthiest colony in the days before the Declaration of Independence.
During this period the colonial barons of the day flaunted their wealth and power through architecture and landscaping. They create monuments to their own success that still stand today. The competition between the wealthy elites of the time can be seen on the streets as you walk through Charleston, with many having interesting and amusing stories about the builders.
From colonial-era castles to Art Deco masterpieces and the more modern buildings downtown; Charleston has something for every architecture fan and history buffs too. For the best view of the beautiful homes in the city and a taste of their rich history, see them from street level on a walking tour.
The Charleston-style home is famous around the world, but it is not one single style itself. It is a rainbow of colors and architectural influences that tells the story of America as you walk the streets of the city.
Whether you just wish to visit on a weekend or are returning to Charleston to look for a new home, make sure you take a tour of the city and see all the beautiful houses. Who knows, you could be adding your story to the history of Charleston and reside in one of these amazing Charleston-style homes.