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.
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
JOSEPH MANIGAULT HOUSE
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
NATHANIEL RUSSELL HOUSE
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
THE EDMONDSTON-ALSTON HOUSE
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