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Charleston: A travel diary, Part I - the architecture

Rainbow Row, Photo by Savannah Farris
Rainbow Row, Photo by Savannah Farris

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!

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  • Keith Cooke 5 years ago

    Great article! We live only a couple of hours from Charleston, and are always amazed at some of the things we discover or re-discover. Truly one of those cities that you could visit over and over and never get tired of its charm.

  • Pauline 5 years ago

    Charleston is really one of the loveliest cities around, and so rich in history.

  • Lynn 5 years ago

    The architecture looks amazing. Love your slide show!

  • Jodie 5 years ago

    Always love visiting Charleston - agree that there is always something interesting to see.

  • Lindsay G 5 years ago

    Always love architecture as Interior Design was my major.

  • Don 5 years ago

    What a wonderful City. Thanks for stirring my wanderlust!

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    Great article on Charleston. My parents lived there for ten years and I always enjoyed visiting them.

  • Caroline Eubanks 5 years ago

    Good article on my hometown of Charleston. I like your pictures. If you want to see more of the locals side, check out my articles.
    -Charleston Travel Examiner

  • Sarah 5 years ago

    Still considering Charleston to live in future and enjoyed your article.

  • Lynn 5 years ago

    Great Slideshow. Not only are you a good writer, You take great pictures as well.

  • Lynn 5 years ago

    Great Slideshow. Not only are you a good writer, You take great pictures as well.