I Heart Charleston Architecture

The entirety of Downtown Charleston is my latest property crush

DSC_0479On a recent (and much needed) long weekend in downtown Charleston, SC, I walked into the past and saw my future. When the time comes to build my home from the ground up, the architectural styling of the homes that make up downtown Charleston will serve as my muse. Now make no mistake, there are many different types of architecture in Charleston — Georgia, Federal, Adamesque, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victoria. Homes dating back to the early 1700’s differ in grandness depending on who resided there. These homes were designed as much for beauty as they were to withstand the elements.

The concentration of gorgeous historical homes, block after block, is unparalleled anywhere else in the US. You’ll want to take your time and really take it in. If you happen to visit in late June, as I did, the thick humid air will make it difficult for you to walk at a fast pace. Weather notwithstanding, you cannot rush down these streets if you want to get a full appreciation for the incredible amount of detail on these properties. Common elements of Charleston homes include intricate wrought ironwork, window boxes overflowing with flowers, brick and stucco exteriors, gas-powered outdoor lamps and secret passages leading to elaborate gardens.

It is not lost on me that these homes, like many historic homes throughout the country, were built almost entirely by slaves. It would be an utter disgrace to marvel over these magnificent houses, and not acknowledge the brutality and inhumanity that made them possible. It is a struggle sometimes to tour historic homes knowing that the very floor that you are standing on was laid by a human in captivity. My only solace in those moments is a deep and profound respect and appreciation for the preservation of the work and craftsmanship that went into creating these homes, and for the hands that did it.

I do hope to return to Charleston this fall. The Preservation Society of Charleston will be hosting it’s 40th Annual Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens. Through the generosity of the current homeowners, the public is given a five week  opportunity to tour the interiors of these historic properties. There is definitely a road trip with my girlfriends in my future.

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