CHARLESTON – A Historic American Gem
By Christine Dupuy
Charleston, South Carolina, one of the South’s most charming cities, is located in the “low country” on the East coast. If you are planning a tour to this area, there are a vast amount of choices of things to do and see. One of the most well-known sites is Rainbow Row. Pandemic or no pandemic, you will be able to experience this iconic row of homes with no chance of closure!
Rainbow Row, a collection of thirteen houses in a variety of colors, lies along East Bay Street overlooking the water. After the Civil War, this section of Charleston was quite dilapidated, with close to slum-like conditions. This changed after Susan Pringle Frost bought six of the buildings. Ms. Frost founded what is now known as the Preservation Society of Charleston. She took it upon herself to begin to restore these now historical homes. The other half were purchased by Dorothy Haskell Porcher Legge. Your tour to “Chucktown”, and those visiting these very cool looking homes, will notice their unique pastel colors immediately- and from a distance! An interesting, but false, thought is that sailors painted these homes as such so they could recognize their own property after nights of debauchery. As funny as that may seem, the true reason for the color of the homes is that they were based on a colonial Caribbean color theme of the time. Most of them were pink when in the early stages of restoration.
Although entry to the homes is generally not available, it is certainly worth a walk or drive down the street to view the delightful, and appropriately named, Rainbow Row. Downtown Charleston has much to offer the visitor to the quaint town, and it is not surprising that Rainbow Row is one of the most often photographed parts of the city.
Even though this is a difficult time in our history, one thing that remains constant are some of the most historical and American slices of time. Be well, stay healthy and always look forward to your next trip!