Charleston Charm

 

  

 Although our initial plan was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary  in Italy, we decided that due to the economy we would put it on hold and venture somewhere stateside instead.  Besides, the gist of the trip was to have a little getaway time together.  So as lovers of architecture and history, we headed to a town that oozed charm and delighted our senses. 

 Charleston South Carolina’s  historic district is drenched in interesting architecture and wonderful wrought iron fences that give you a peek into charming little backyard gardens. (Well, in Charleston’s fashion, side yard gardens) Since we arrived early in the evening we decided to acquaint ourselves with this new place we would delving into for the next couple days.  We were delighted and enthralled by all the various aspects of the buildings as we set out on Meeting Street. We were like giddy kids pointing out all the goodies that came into view.  

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Wrought iron fence in front of The Hibernian Hall (1840) on Meeting Street. Photo by MJT
St. Michael's Church on Meeting Street Photo by MJT Old Charleston Fire station
Former Smith’s Grocery

 

                                 Decievingly , many of the homes front door seem open into the street but as you can see in the photo this is not the case.  This particular home has a stairway to the porch beyond the false door.

 

Brick house on Meeting Street.

 And you’ll notice this lovely home also has a false front door. (by checking out the transom window above the door).  And another great feature of Charleston homes are the two story porticos most of which overlook lush gardens!

 I found all of Charleston to have this sort of magical, what’s around the next corner, feel to it.  We were carried down each street with a sense of adventure! 

 

Home on Battery Street.
                    
 
Fabulous home and car! Photo by MJT

  

 We filled each day with as much of its nuance and unique architectural styles as our tired feet could carry us to.  And that is what is so wonderful about the historic area of Charleston, many things are within walking distance.  But it is advised that you set your itinerary to include homes in the same general area for any given day.  Here are a couple of historic home front doors we were honored to step through:        
The Aiken-Rhett home is an 1818 urban plantation that remained in the family until 1975 and since 1995 has been owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation.                                                            
Aiken-Rhett Home Photo by MJT

  The huge windows, that are actually  large enough to be used as doors, were one of the changes made later in the home.  In the 1830’s and 1850’s, owners Governor and Mrs William Aiken, Jr. expanded the home.  However, the home has remained un-altered since 1858.

 Aat one time, the backyard contained a garden area and still remaining are a brick chicken coop , a horse and carriage house, and a kitchen and laundry.

Backyard of Aiken-Rhett home. The kitchen and laundry building (left) and the horse and carriage house (right) still remain. (Photo by MJT)

 

Original carriage

Slave quarters were housed above both the kitchen and laundry building and the carriage house.   It was found that the slave quarters, that were situated in a dormitory style, had been painted in vibrant colors. 

Kitchen and laundry building with the slave quarters above.
Flanking each corner of the back yard are two fancy brick outhouses.  Note the Gothic Style on the buildings.
Aieken-Rhett outhouse. Photo by MJT
The neo-classical, Nathaniel  Russell home on Elizabeth Street has a beautifully magnificent free flying staircase.   The home is a grand example of the Charleston elite and as stated by the Historic Charleston Foundation is  “widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings” It’s formal gardens and ornate plasterwork has been pleasing guests since 1808.   
Nathaniel Russel House Photo by MJT

Held in beauty and historical significance the Federal Style Edmonston-Alston home catches the ocean breezes due to its close proximity to the Charleston Harbor.  And in southern style, this house just like others in Charleston, is situated to make the most use of them.  And it is from one of these porticos  in 1861 that  General Beauregard and General Lee watched the firing on Fort Sumter.

 

Upper Portico of Edmondston Alston Home. Photo by MJT

 

Lower portico. Photo by MJT

Typical of most historical homes no photographs are permitted indoors.  Hopefully this photo through the porch doorway allows enough of sneaky peek in to satisfy a bit of curiosity.  However, I think it may just make you wanting to experience it for yourself.  This home was on of the first to be built on the Battery and has one of best locations in town!  

Doorway off portico to allow breeze whisk in. Photo by MJT

  This photo shows some of elaborate details of this special home. This place is so special to the family that the eighth generation of Alstons still lives in the home on the third floor.  I’m sure their ancestor Charles Alston, who bought the place in 1837 from original owner Charles Edmonston of Scotland, would be thrilled.

Corbel and Ironwork on the Edmonston-Alston Photo by MJT

 

And at night Charleston charm continues to shine through.

 

 

Two days of roaming the  urban plantations and homes were followed by trekking to country plantations along the  Ashley River.  This included touring the following lovely, grand places:                               

                                         

           

Drayton Hall Photo by MJT
Magnolia Plantation Photo by MJT
Middleton Place front facade Photo by MJT

 I have more to share of these  rural old gems to give you a sense of how their gregarious nature pulled us up and into the front door…  just too much to share here… watch for it!

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6 thoughts on “Charleston Charm

    1. 🙂 Take lots of photos! I wished I’d taken more. Can’t wait to hear about and see all the photos of your journey upon your return. BTW, there is a great little out of the way pizza place on Market Street. They have a pretty tasty pizza (some say it is the best pizza in Charleston) and all you need is one piece to fill you. It’s called Di Giovanni pizza. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/61/1431188/restaurant/Peninsular-Charleston/Di-Giovanni-pizza-Charleston It is sort of tucked away and we sort of stumbled upon it. When we did my hubby realized it was the place several people had told him about. Oh, and there is an ice cream and fudge place not far from there. 😉

    1. It is a pretty fantastic city, Pam! Thanks, Matt has taken most of the pics here, but I’m in training. Glad you enjoyed it! I hope you and hubby get to roll into Charleston yourselves some day to enjoy it!

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