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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58 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17018128 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1390 sqft

 

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$579,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

1 Harlem Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17018082 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 568 sqft

Here is a classic Charleston freedman's cottage that has been owned by the same family for many many years. Home was occupied until about 8 months... 

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$325,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17018164 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1237 sqft

Dockside Condominiums is one of Charleston's premier gated communities located on the Cooper River waterfront adjacent to the South Carolina Aquari... 

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$630,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

8 Elliott Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17018070 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1224 sqft

Perfect pied-a-terre for out of town buyer looking for a premiere location on ''Four Post Alley'' in South of Broad neighborhood in downtown Charle... 

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$795,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

40 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17018127 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1206 sqft

 

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$515,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

62 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17018045 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 3617 sqft

*Also listed as multi-family MLS #17018046.* Spacious triplex in the heart of Harleston Village with strong rental history. Walking distance to ne... 

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$1,825,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group

21 Rose Lane
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17018029 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 795 sqft

Live downtown, walk and bike everywhere in this ADORABLE Charleston Single. The home oozes charm from the front gate, to the low maintenance courty... 

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$399,000
Provided courtesy of The Pulse Charleston

14 Lockwood Drive
Charleston, SC 29401
Ashley House
Residential

MLS# 17018130 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1034 sqft

Enter this lovely building with security into a beautiful lobby. The elevators will take you to the 4th floor to view this beautiful 2 bedroom cond... 

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$415,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate

45 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17017935 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1802 sqft

On lower East Bay Street at the High Battery, this second floor condominium is in the Somersall-DeSaussure House, circa 1790-1800. With nineteenth... 

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$1,900,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

55 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Baker House
Residential

MLS# 17018054 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1007 sqft

Excellent location. One bedroom condo located back of Baker House. Kitchen updated about 6 years ago with stainless appliances. Living area with bu... 

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$315,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

50 South Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17017835 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1500 sqft

Quintessential Charleston Single completely renovated from top to bottom, inside and out - with off-street parking! Located in Charleston's famed ... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

1 Weims Court
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17017858 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2436 sqft

Charming home tucked away on private South of Broad street. Just steps from Charleston Harbor. Beautiful mantles in living room and dining room. F... 

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$949,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

85 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17017515 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 3020 sqft

Rarely does a ''Charleston Single House'' with the traditional floor plan and with the charm come on to the market. Here is the opportunity to red... 

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$1,295,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

33 Hanover Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17017512 / Active Contingent
3 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1492 sqft

Downstairs = 1/2 Bath / Laundry Room, Formal Dining Room, Living Room, Kitchen & one Large BR or Bonus Room - 2 good sized Secondaries upstairs, 1 ... 

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$275,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17017602 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1615 sqft

This is the one you have been looking for. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, luxury finishes, 3rd floor which is 4 floors above the ground, over looking Charle... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate

67 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Crafts House
Residential

MLS# 17017256 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 956 sqft

What you have been waiting for...a condo that provides modern amenities while respecting historic details in a quiet part of downtown Charleston. T... 

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$575,000
Provided courtesy of Elaine Brabham and Associates

9 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17017123 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1780 sqft

Charming 2 BR / 2.5 BA carriage house with private sunny patio and Charleston brick garden courtyard. Circa 1700, this immaculate home is turn key ... 

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$1,429,000
Provided courtesy of Pam Harrington Exclusives

74 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17017028 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2055 sqft

Renovated, End unit townhouse just one block from Broad Street offering the best of Charleston city living right outside your front door. This 3-s... 

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$815,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

59 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17016887 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2 half bath, 1800 sqft

Charming Charleston single style home with private gate, for added security. Charleston brick walk-way and garden courtyard with fountain. Extremel... 

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$1,295,000
Provided courtesy of Pam Harrington Exclusives

249 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17016776 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1932 sqft

Off-street gated parking for 5 in front and private walled courtyard in back bricked patio garden. Walk to MUSC and all the new upcoming restaurant... 

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$750,000
Provided courtesy of Classic Charleston Properties LLC

100 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17016754 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2095 sqft

Situated in the heart of Charleston's historic district and within the South of Broad neighborhood. 100 East Bay flaunts a beautiful view of Rainbo... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of EBD Management LLC

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