Homes along East Battery Street, Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by Savannah Farris
I just had the good fortune to visit Charleston and despite the fact that I have visited this city several times it never ceases to amaze me. Charleston is so rich in history and it is also incredibly beautiful. This city on the ocean has unending architectural masterpieces all with their own mark on history.
I only had a day to visit the city, but I made the most of it with a drive through town and a stop at Charleston’s historic Rainbow Row. While these homes are not the most glamorous that the city has to offer, it is an important mark on the city’s revitalization efforts and the birth place of the country’s first Preservation Society. Rainbow Row was once thought to be a blight on the city as the original mid 1700 homes fell into disrepair. In 1931, Dorothy Legge was the first to take on the task of restoring these old row houses and soon many followed creating, Rainbow Row. This project kicked off several more preservation projects through out the city to date and now we can see Charleston’s in its full splendor.
From Rainbow Row you can walk along East Bay Street and East Battery Street to see some of Charleston’s most beautiful homes. Two such homes are the Edmonston Alston House and the DeSaussure House, both of which offer tours. While walking along these ocean front homes you might notice an odd design they all share. The fronts of the homes seem to be on their sides. This is because back in the mid 1800’s when most of these homes were built they were taxed based on the homes frontage. Subsequently people built their homes with small facades a very deep sides. You will also see plenty of huge front porches on the sides of these beautiful homes. I stopped in White Point Gardens, a beautiful city park at the end of East Battery that offers wonderful views of the ocean shaded by beautiful trees. I recommend packing a little picnic and eating in the park!