Architecture with intention | Immovable

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Planters and exposed brickwork on the side of a home in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Photo/Kristen Lee/Charlesto Nspired


From the cobblestones under your feet to the pastel tones that paint the streets, there’s no denying that Charleston’s aesthetic is one of a kind. Although the look is easily recognizable, few people know that every brick and every shade was chosen with intention.

Whether you’re a real estate agent looking to showcase the unique value of a home in the Holy City or a potential buyer wondering what makes these historic homes worth the price, you’ll find that the architectural history of Charleston is just one reason to fall in love.

Take your sweet tea and sit down. It’s time to find out what makes a luxury home in the heart of the holy city truly priceless.

The Charleston Detached House

The predominant building type you’ll find in the Historic District is the Charleston single-family home. The reason? When Charleston was first settled by the English, this beautiful style was introduced to the holy city.

As migration to urban areas increased, this style of house became increasingly popular in the mid-19th century.

Your typical Charleston detached house has an open living room and at least two bedrooms while being two stories high. Its original purpose was to provide a home for working class families.

This style of home is easily recognizable by its long, narrow construction. Additionally, nearly every single-family home in Charleston features a distinct plaza with an entrance facing the street – there couldn’t be a better design to foster a close community where neighbors can greet and welcome each other to s sit back and relax in the rocking chair with sweet tea and cookies!

Another feature of many Charleston single-family homes is the distinct doorway that first appears to be an entrance to the house. However, upon further investigation, you will find that it leads to a patio!

Coastal Island Properties of Mt. Pleasant explained, “Known as welcome gates, these portals were a means of communicating with friends and neighbors. Leaving the door open meant that the occupants were at home and ready to receive guests and provide true Southern Lowcountry hospitality.

The Charleston Double House

Another classic Charleston-style house is the Charleston Double House. Since the single-style house was originally designed for working-class families, it’s easy to see why the double-style house isn’t as common. However, its architectural design is predominant throughout the Lowcountry.







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Luxury homes on the Battery in downtown Charleston at dusk. Photo/Getty Images


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Rather than facing the street for the width of only one room – as seen with the detached house – the double house faces the street for its entire length. This house typically features a two-story design with an interior that includes a central entry hall that runs through the middle of the house. In a double house you will also find four bedrooms in total. These bedrooms are arranged with two on either side of the ground floor with two additional bedrooms upstairs.

Charleston-style color schemes

Walk around Rainbow Row and the first thing you’ll probably notice are the brightly colored houses. After all, it’s in the name! But, one fact that may surprise you is that Lowcountry homes were not always unmistakably colorful.







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A line of pastel colored houses on Rainbow Row in downtown Charleston. Photo/Kristen Lee/Charlesto Nspired


A woman changed the look of downtown Charleston forever. In 1931, Dorthy Porcher Legge started the pastel hue trend by painting part of the houses in East Bay bright pink. His inspiration was simple: After the Civil War, downtown Charleston was in desperate need of revitalization. At the time, the houses looked tired, worn and broken.

After touring the city, Legge decided to change. Neighbors welcomed the sunny aesthetic as a breath of fresh air after such dreary times and quickly followed suit. Since then, the tradition of pastel shades continues to delight visitors and residents of the Holy City.

Architectural and historical preservation

Some things never change. And one of them is the City of Charleston and its initiative to preserve historic buildings throughout the Lowcountry.

And that’s great news for homeowners.

The City of Charleston explained, “Charleston has a long history of building preservation”, for example, “this house on Legare Street was built in 1772 and has been beautifully preserved for hundreds of years”.

For those lucky enough to call downtown Charleston home, one thing is for sure, you won’t have to worry about losing the area’s historic and charming appeal that made you fall in love. in the first place.

Whether you dream of a single or double home, there’s no denying that this historic architecture is an important thread in the fabric of the Lowcountry community. And best of all, it’s here to stay.







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An aerial drone view of the beautiful homes of Charleston, South Carolina at sunset. Photo/Kristen Lee/Charlesto Nspired


To share your real estate story ideas and favorite ways to enjoy Low Country life, contact Deborah Sledziona at [email protected]

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