What is the Story Behind Charleston Green?

Charleston Green

Our fair and Holy City of Charleston, South Carolina, is painted with dabs and dots of a single signature color, which is commonly referred to as Charleston Green. It's a color that could dress up the shabbiest Charleston single house, and aggrandize the smallest freedman's cottage.

A green so dark it appears black, it lends an air of subtle chameleon mystery to streets with light streaming through moss draped trees. The color changes as you move and elevates what might have been a simple flat black to a rich and dignified tone.

The History Behind Charleston Green

Charleston Green lends a formal sensibility, but the purported history is more rebellious. The origin of the color is contested, but the story goes that after the American Civil War, the Union sent buckets of plain black government-issued paint down to Charleston to gloss over what war had done to the city. But Charlestonians, less than impressed with boring black, added yellow and blue (or green, depending on the source) to make the deep forest green now named for the city where it originated. 

How to Use Charleston Green on Your Home

If you're strolling Downtown Charleston on the brick, pavement, or cobblestone streets, you'll notice the hue applied to front doors, window shutters, Italianate trim and even balustrades. There's no right or wrong way to use Charleston Green, but do remember that direct sunlight will heat the dark color and could cause it to bubble, or even be hot to the touch—a danger those moss draped trees can alleviate, since the Charleston housing market is quite hot enough on its own.

This deepest-deep green hue can be used in a variety of different exterior color schemes. The most classic is off-white with Charleston Green shutters and doors. Green shutters can compliment a lighter green home, a yellow home, or even a pink one.

If you'd like to add a touch of black-tie class, but don't want to darken your overall palette, try painting just the front door, or brushing the window sashes with Charleston Green while the casing remains white. Some homes paint only their front steps in the color. Window boxes are a nice place to add a deep green to bring out the green leaves and flowers and provide a visual anchor to the shape of the windows. Think of them as the strong brows on the face of your home.

You can also pull the color inside by using it on an interior staircase or in a study. Give a high-style makeover to a small half bath with a stunning high gloss enamel finish or treat a mantle to a stroke of dark green.

While the color chip is readily available from Historic Charleston Foundation's collection at your nearest Sherwin-Williams, you could also mix your own using a local recipe:

DIY: Charleston Green Recipe

10 ounces black paint

4 ounces green paint

½ ounce yellow paint 

Now that you know what to look for, the next time you're walking South of Broad , you'll more easily spot the difference between a true black hue and the trademark tint that we call Charleston Green. 

Looking for something different? See below for current listings downtown Charleston!

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32 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16027451 / Active
9 br, 13 ba, 3 half bath, 17142 sqft

Legare street's oldest residence known locally as "the sword gate," was built in 1803. This federal style residence is privately nestled behind its... 

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$19,500,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

2 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 1303255 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 2 half bath, 5923 sqft

Iconic views complement the luxury of this truly one of a kind property located at 2 concord street. The only single family residence downtown with... 

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$8,850,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

54 Hasell Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 15016790 / Active
6 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 8705 sqft

Distinguishing characteristics: 1) national register - national register of historic places - considered one of the "charleston seven". 2) built ... 

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$6,400,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

38 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16030154 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 3 half bath, 5891 sqft

Circa 1812, historically known as "the george keenan house." Purchased after construction and renovated by dr. Vincent leseigneur in 1814. Born i... 

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$5,850,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

91 & 91.5 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16029142 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 6471 sqft

A beautifully restored historic residence on rainbow row, the inglis arch house, circa 1787, is perfectly suited for every lifestyle. Enter through... 

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$5,750,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

71 Anson Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 16003912 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 6919 sqft

Exceptionally rare, historically significant, impeccably maintained, the thomas doughty estate is situated on over .3 acres in the heart of charles... 

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$5,500,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

20 South Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 1224342 / Active
17 br, 16 ba, 2 half bath, 15669 sqft

20 south battery is the premier charleston residence, prominent for its location and presence as a historic and social feature of the community. Lo... 

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$5,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

10 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16019013 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 6000 sqft

Just steps from the battery, the ingraham-forrest house, c 1800 charleston single, represents a timeless collaboration of past and present. Classic... 

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$5,200,000
Provided courtesy of Atlantic Properties

18 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16002384 / Active
5 br, 6 ba, 6992 sqft

Circa 1840's, south of broad on desirable lower church st. This fine, recently restored "charleston single" style home is offered in excellent cond... 

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$4,450,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

23 Longitude Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16001672 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4500 sqft

Tucked away in a very private setting in the heart of historic charleston, this house has been meticulously restored with no attention to detail sp... 

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$4,289,500
Reduced -$200,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

59 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15006091 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2 half bath, 4239 sqft

The thomas rose house was constructed c. 1735 and is considered one of charleston's best preserved colonial dwellings. The house has retained many ... 

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$3,750,000
Reduced -$1,050,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

71 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15019445 / Active
4 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 5504 sqft

This classically-inspired house was designed by randolph martz and constructed in 2003. An elevator goes to all three floors for your convenience. ... 

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$3,649,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

57 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 16030556 / Active
6 br, 5 ba, 3 half bath, 5676 sqft

Circa 1836, the augustus taft house is situated on a large, double lot and is a prime example of early greek revival style. Downstairs features dou... 

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$3,450,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

23&23 1/2 Lamboll Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16016112 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 4 half bath, 5060 sqft

Located south of broad, just off legare street on secluded, yet central, lamboll street. Probably one of the most desirable locations in the city. ... 

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$3,398,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

2 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16031039 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4544 sqft

Right on the battery. One of the most sought after locations in charleston. Beautiful views of charleston harbor and white point gardens from the... 

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$3,395,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

517 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
King Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 16003816 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4698 sqft

Incredibly beautiful and stunning penthouse in charleston's trendiest neighborhood. This luxurious penthouse truly has it all. An open floor plan w... 

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$3,395,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 16022752 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3464 sqft

This luxury condo is located in the heartbeat of the peninsula on the corner of cumberland and concord enjoying protected views of the ravenel brid... 

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$3,350,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

104 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17000164 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 5571 sqft

This stuccoed brick single house was built by thomas b.Seabrook, a prosperous edisto island planter.The victorian tower was a later addition. The ... 

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$3,125,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

24 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 15029095 / Active
6 br, 6 ba, 1 half bath, 5144 sqft

Rental income! Live in the front house and collect rental income from the rear cottage, which has been approved by the city of charleston zoning de... 

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$2,995,000
Reduced -$4,999
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group

9 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 16012110 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4931 sqft

The most private lot on gibbes street, just off legare street. Secluded entrance with room for four parking places. Upon entering the piazza there ... 

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$2,950,000
Reduced -$300,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

82 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 16025205 / Active Contingent
4 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 4500 sqft

From the moment you arrive at 82 pitt street, you are greeted by the lush gardens, designed by glen gardner, and the beautiful outdoor spaces conne... 

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$2,950,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

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