The main reason why I wanted to visit Charleston is to see the history and architecture. I thought I could use it as inspiration for my own house back home. I had visited New Orleans and the French Quarter and had fallen in love with the wrought iron gates, the shutters, the old churches and the green spaces. I knew Charleston had a similar feel to it. That’s why I decided to visit.
One of the best things I did while in Charleston was take a carriage ride through one of the historic districts. The tour guide was a teacher who led carriage ride tours on Saturdays and during the summers. He taught history so he knew his stuff. He provided many interesting tidbits about the architecture and history of Charleston, which I will try to summarize here. This guide really made the tour interesting!
I took these photos at the beginning of our tour. They reminded me of my house with the gold color, the black shutters, the window boxes. I liked the little white railings at the top and the crate myrtles in the front. There were no front yards, just sidewalks that butted up against the houses. In Charleston you can earn a prestigious award for maintaining the historical charm of your house.
In this picture you can see the cobblestone street. If work needs to be done on the street, the workers have to return all the cobblestones when they are finished. Cobblestone streets are never paved over with concrete.
I love these photos. They are pictures of public housing located right in the center of the expensive, historic district of downtown Charleston! Public housing right next to multi-million dollar homes! It’s been that way for years. They have a zero tolerance policy for crime. If you’re convicted of a crime, you’re evicted. So, that’s how they maintain the peace and allow public housing in this area. So cool.
This was a photo of an old jail. It even had the bars on the windows. You can take tours of this supposedly haunted jail. It was in the process of being bought for office space. The buyers, however, have to maintain the historic appearance of the building, so it will always look like a jail, but will be used for offices.
In this photo you can see the tip of a red cross. This building used to be used for the Red Cross at least 75 years ago. In Charleston, if your architecture or paint is 75 years or older, you have to maintain it even if you restore it. So, the white wall in front of this house has red crosses on it from when it was the Red Cross. Whenever these owners repaint the wall, they have to repaint the red crosses back on it. I also love the big tree in the front of this picture. So southern.
This photo is quintessential Charleston with the porch and wrought iron gate. If you look at the ceiling in the photo, it’s painted light blue. That’s because wasps can’t tell if the ceiling is a ceiling or if it is the sky, so if it’s painted light blue, they won’t build their nests in it.
Another perfect Charleston photo. Love the front porches and the big trees reaching over the street. I’d love to live in one of these buildings. I’ve actually looked up studios and one-bedroom apartments in this area. A retirement dream of mine. To live in the south amongst such charm and AVOID the winters…sigh.
Those are just a few pictures from my carriage ride through historic Charleston. If I went back, I would do a carriage ride again because I probably wouldn’t go on the same route twice. Completely worth the money. One of the best things I did there. For more pictures of Charleston that I didn’t take, visit my Pinterest Board.