Tour­ing the City’s His­toric Homes

Travel back to iconic mo­ments in his­tory—in homes that have sur­vived both the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion and the Civil War.

Where Charleston - - Contents - BY CARA LYNN CLARK­SON

Homes that not only amaze ar­chi­tec­turally, but also with sto­ries of fam­i­lies who lived in the beau­ti­ful land­marks through­out time.


One of the most-pho­tographed sites on the city penin­sula is Rain­bow Row. Many myths sur­round th­ese col­or­ful houses, in­clud­ing one that says their pas­tel col­ors helped in­tox­i­cated sailors re­mem­ber which houses were their own. The iconic homes owe their pas­tel hues to Dorothy Porcher Legge, who bought th­ese run- down, former mar­ket­places in the 1930s and painted them pink. Oth­ers fol­lowed her lead, and to­day there is a col­lec­tion of houses in a Colo­nial Caribbean color scheme. East Bay Street, Charleston


A short walk from the Aiken- Rhett House to Meet­ing Street will bring you to this house. Stroll the pe­riod gar­den that frames this early-19th cen­tury home. Joseph Manigault’s brother, Gabriel Manigault, de­signed both this house and Charleston’s City Hall in the Fed­eral style, which stands out against tra­di­tional ar­chi­tec­ture in Charleston. 350 Meet­ing St., Charleston, 843.723.2926


The 18th- cen­tury house is named for two he­roes of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. The owner, Thomas Hey­ward Jr., was a signer of the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence, and its most fa­mous vis­i­tor was Pres­i­dent Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton. In the im­pres­sive home is an orig­i­nal let­ter writ­ten by Wash­ing­ton and a cabi­net made in Charleston, which was called price­less by “An­tique Road­show.” 87 Church St., Charleston, 843.722.0354


The first thing you no­tice here is the neo­clas­si­cal ar­chi­tec­ture and ge­o­met­ri­cally shaped rooms. The most mem­o­rable part of the home is the free­stand­ing, spiral stair­case. You can view the in­ter­lock­ing wood­work that makes this mar­vel pos­si­ble through a win­dow at the bot­tom of the stairs. Many vis­i­tors say th­ese stairs are worth the trip alone. 51 Meet­ing St., Charleston, 843.724.8481


A true tes­ta­ment to time, this house is still pre­served to de­pict life in the 19th cen­tury. It houses many orig­i­nal fam­ily fur­nish­ings and an­tiques, which lend an au­then­tic feel to the rooms. A bed and break­fast oc­cu­pies part of the home. 21 E. Bat­tery St., Charleston, 843.556.6020


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