Colorful Homes and Historic Buildings: Discover Charleston Architecture and the Charleston Style Home

rainbow row homes on east bay street in downtown charleston south carolina

South Carolina, studded with wealthy historical past, distinctive structure, picturesque seashores and islands, is among the gems of the South. And Charleston, SC, isn’t any exception. With its cobblestone streets, pastel properties, and historic buildings, there are numerous issues that make Charleston worthy of the nickname, “Holy Metropolis.” And a kind of issues is the enduring Charleston structure and houses that form the architectural types of the town and surrounding Charleston suburbs.

So, in the event you’re living in Charleston, otherwise you’re questioning what makes Charleston fashion properties a part of South Carolina’s historical past, we’ve received you lined. Right here’s a bit of historical past lesson on Charleston structure.

Meet the native consultants

Collin  C.  Cope, Charleston-based design collective

Ariel Trouche, actual property agent at Carolina One Real Estate

J. Heath Barmes, Mission Supervisor and Historic Preservationist at LFK Architects, LLC

Chris Bonner, AIA, LEED A.P. Architect | Realtor, b Studio Architect

Patti F. Wilbourne, Founder and Inventive Director, Patti Wilbourne Design

Historical past of Charleston structure

“The extra of Charleston you discover, the extra simple it turns into that the nice and cozy ambiance and sense of ease you’ll be able to’t assist however really feel right here, is as a lot created by the structure itself as it’s by the individuals who inhabit this metropolis,” shares Collin C. Cope. 

Relationship again to 1670, Charleston, SC, was settled as a port metropolis and named after King Charles II of England. Charleston structure advanced quickly after, within the early 1700s, and rapidly turned one of many earliest architectural types within the US. Charleston fashion properties are the historic properties that you just’ll discover all through downtown Charleston.

Charleston fashion properties had been now not constructed after the Nineties, so it’s unlikely that you just’ll discover these properties outdoors of Charleston’s historic districts. There are simply upwards of two,700 Charleston fashion properties nonetheless standing immediately. Chances are you’ll discover properties that look much like Charleston homes in different Southern cities like New Orleans, LA, or Savannah, GA, nevertheless it’s not a real Charleston residence until it’s within the “Holy Metropolis.”

“We’ve got a tradition wealthy in coastal journey the place concepts from everywhere in the world got here collectively to combine and intertwine over the previous few centuries,” continues Cope. “Our structure is exclusive in that it’s such an attractive mix of so a few years of affect from so many alternative elements of the world. We’re particularly lucky to have had leaders and organizations that preserve this in thoughts and work tirelessly to foster that spirit of preservation and inspiration. I can’t assist however really feel past blessed to be given the chance to proceed that custom.”

charleston south carolina double home on a street

What are Charleston fashion properties?

There are two fundamental variations of the Charleston fashion residence – single home and double home. These properties are sometimes discovered all through the town’s historic districts, particularly the French Quarter and Battery districts. In contrast to different residence types prevalent in lots of southern states like Colonial homes, Charleston properties are solely discovered all through the Charleston peninsula. The 2 properties look related, however have a number of differing traits.

Charleston single home

A Charleston single home is a really slim home from the road view, however could be very lengthy, extending far onto the property. The homes look like about one-room broad, however in actuality are a number of rooms broad, from the facet view. There’s usually an entryway within the entrance of the home that leads right into a porch or piazza. The house’s actual entrance is normally alongside this small porch.

Chris Bonner shares extra perception on this distinctive residence fashion, “Charleston’s local weather is one among sturdy solar, warmth, and gentle ocean breezes all through many of the 12 months. The quintessential ‘Charleston Single’ advanced out of the deep slim heaps whose photo voltaic orientation created lengthy south (or west) exposures. The vernacular fashion, as a direct response to those situations, developed lengthy deep two story piazzas (porches) alongside the south and/or west of the one-room broad properties.”

Because of this, “These piazzas created wanted shade and caught what breeze they might to mood the properties of residents lengthy earlier than air-con. This setup additionally created a de-facto separation of private and non-private areas, with privateness doorways fronting the road and shutting off the porch and personal gardens from the general public at massive.”

Charleston double home

A Charleston double home isn’t as widespread in downtown Charleston, however you’ll be able to nonetheless discover them within the Charleston space. Double homes are very broad, which you’ll see from the road, not like a single home. The Charleston double home is 2 tales, with 4 rooms (two upstairs and two downstairs), and a central hallway dividing the house.

charleston south carolina buildings with multi pane windows

Traits of Charleston properties

“In an age the place comfort and velocity oftentimes overwhelm expertise and high quality, Charleston is lucky to have an extremely gifted neighborhood of artisans who respect and perceive the historic significance of sustaining and restoring these storied treasures,” Patti Wilbourne feedback. 

This implies you’ll discover nice examples all through the town. So let’s check out what treasured architectural particulars you’ll find in these properties.

Slender and lengthy: From the surface, Charleston single homes have a slim exterior, akin to a row house, however are lengthy and prolong far again onto the property.

Huge: Charleston double homes have a large façade, not like their single home counterparts. Nonetheless, single homes are lengthy, making up for his or her slim entrance.

Pretend entrance door: Charleston properties have a “fake” entrance door which leads into the porch or piazza, quite than instantly into the house. This residence characteristic arose throughout the Victorian-era (1837-1901) as a option to give owners extra privateness.

Piazza: You’ll discover a piazza completely suited to catch a breeze all through the day. Having the porches perpendicular to the road permits for extra of the breeze to blow by way of throughout heat days.

Heath Barmes additional explains the aim of a piazza, commenting, “Piazza is a Charlestonian time period for porch, typically a multi-storied porch. Piazzas are sensible for out of doors residing as a result of they virtually all the time happen on the south or west sides of the house in order to defend the home from the harshness of the solar and seize the peninsula’s sea breezes.” 

“Piazzas typically characteristic a piazza display,” Barmes continues, “which incorporates a door, on the road facet of the piazza. That is to offer some privateness from the road since most Single-Homes are constructed proper on the sidewalk.” 

Inside structure: Charleston properties usually have the same inside structure, two tales tall, with stairs separating the perimeters once you enter the lobby. Usually, there will probably be a bed room to the left, whereas the residing area and kitchen are off to the correct facet. The lounge and kitchen are sometimes separated by an arched doorway. The upstairs is similar with two separate rooms on both facet.

Architectural fashion: The Charleston properties that you just see will typically have a special architectural fashion, consultant of the time they had been constructed. These types vary from Colonial, Federal and Victorian, to Gothic Revival, Classical Revival, Italianate, and Artwork Deco.

Shiny-colored exteriors: Probably the most iconic Charleston properties are positioned on East Bay Avenue, nicknamed “Rainbow Row,” after their candy-colored exteriors. Lots of the Charleston-style properties are brightly coloured, making them stand out much more.

greek revival style church in charleston, south carolina

Distinguished Charleston, South Carolina buildings

The Charleston Historic District, designated as a nationwide historic landmark district in 1960, is a good place to see lots of the historic buildings and preserved Charleston fashion properties. You’ll find historic locations just like the Fireproof Constructing, Nathaniel Russell Home, and the Greek Revival Edmondston-Alston Home. There’s loads of historic structure to see, whether or not you’re a fan of Artwork Deco, Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, or Colonial structure.

“The hallmark of Charleston structure is the statuesque allure of the town’s grand residences. Two excellent examples of structural splendor are discovered all through the town within the type of its beautiful “single-house” and “double-house” designs,” says Ariel Troche. 

“The famed Isaac Jenkins Mikell Home with its swish piazzas and their Tower-of-the-Winds capitals is maybe Charleston’s most famous single home, whereas equally-acclaimed the Miles Brewton Home, with its dazzling decorous portico is among the most interesting double homes. However these excellent examples are just a few of so many discovered by way of the streets of outdated Charleston.”

Another examples of Charleston homes are the Federal fashion Aiken Rhett Home and the Georgian fashion Heyward-Washington Home. You’ll find Italianate-style structure on the Patrick O’Donnell Home or the Victorian style Wentworth Mansion.

Contemplating a Charleston residence?

In case you’re searching for one among these iconic properties count on to dwell in Charleston. There are heaps to contemplate earlier than buying a historic home, so it’s essential to weigh all of your choices earlier than committing to purchasing a home. Nonetheless, you’ll find related fashion properties like row homes or brownstones in different areas of the nation. Or, in the event you’re into Southern-style structure, there are lots of properties that match the invoice in South Carolina.

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