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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19 E Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18004654 / Active
6 br, 7 ba, 2 half bath, 7330 sqft

One of a kind estate located on Charleston's Historic High Battery. The Julius M. Vanska House offers one of the most amazing panoramic views of th... 

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$7,200,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Home Team

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004606 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 818 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$477,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004585 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1288 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$1,079,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC

180 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18004526 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1344 sqft

An incredibly **CHARMING** 3 bedroom/1.5 Bath two-story, fee-simple townhouse is tucked away in the heart of **DOWNTOWN HISTORIC CHARLESTON**. Walk... 

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$560,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

13 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18004607 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3550 sqft

Don't miss this charming carriage house style masonry home in the most desirable location of ''Lower Legare.'' The open and spacious style offers b... 

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$2,595,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

19 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 18004469 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2 half bath, 3196 sqft

First time on the market since 1971! Elegant Ansonborough home built in 1847 by Charleston industrialist, William Lebby. Unique period cast iron fe... 

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$1,545,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

88 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 18004465 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1892 sqft

Don't Miss this Opportunity to Own a Historic Charleston-style Home, which has Stood the Test of Time in the Cannonborough/Elliotburgh Area of Down... 

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$750,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

57 Vanderhorst Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18004456 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1680 sqft

New Charleston home with old Charleston feel. Set in the center of historic downtown within walking distance of Upper King Street and MUSC, this so... 

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$915,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

350 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 18004569 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 500 sqft

Quaint 1 bedroom/1 bath on King Street, near the College of Charleston, and in the middle of everything that Charleston has to offer...dining, shop... 

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$250,000
Provided courtesy of Southeastern Management Group,

77 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18004409 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1103 sqft

Looking for a perfect downtown condo with charm to spare? Look no further than 77 Bull Street! Situated in the heart of Harleston Village. Walk o... 

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$725,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

173 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18004411 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1158 sqft

Fabulous location! Great rental unit ''next to'' MUSC. Monthly rent is $2,960 and tenants pay utilities. Tenants rights through July 31, 2018. Leas... 

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$439,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

81 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18004410 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1025 sqft

If you have been looking for a Pied-a-terre exuding Lowcountry charm and love the look of exposed brick, then you must see this condo. Stunning gr... 

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$575,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004368 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 822 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$594,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004305 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1252 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$804,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC

30 Mary Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 18004152 / Active Contingent
2 br, 1 ba, 1224 sqft

Incredible light and outdoor space lure you to this gorgeous renovated condominium in one of Charleston's loveliest historic buildings. From your e... 

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$565,000
Provided courtesy of Dunes Properties

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004147 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1259 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$989,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC

278 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Historic District
Residential

MLS# 18004323 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1000 sqft

Quintessential Charleston, this renovated 2 bedroom 1.5 bath condo is located in the heart of historic downtown with a world famous King Street add... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

2 E Elliott Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18004176 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2093 sqft

Charming Fitzsimons Townhouse on the corner of Concord and East Elliot. Open floor plan and water views from almost every room. Beamed ceilings, ha... 

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$1,739,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

48 S Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18004028 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 6001 sqft

Circa 1846. The James Macbeth House is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in Charleston. The grandeur of this home is unsurp... 

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$4,250,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

182 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 18004276 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1505 sqft

Stunning 3rd floor unit~ in the Historic Gin Joint Building ~ Newly remodeled, fully furnished~ Incredible location, just steps away from the water... 

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$949,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston West Ashley

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18004007 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 824 sqft

Introducing The Gadsden, downtown Charleston's newest luxury condominium community. Situated next to the city's new Gadsdenboro Park, The Gadsden w... 

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$504,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
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Broker Reciprocity The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker ReciprocitySM Program of the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Marshall Walker Real Estate are marked with the Broker ReciprocitySM logo or the Broker ReciprocitySM thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Last updated on 02-21-2018 6:03pm est. The broker providing these data believes them to be correct, but advises interested parties to confirm them before relying on them in a purchase decision. Copyright 2018 Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved.
Commercial Sale/Lease: Copyright 2018 South Carolina commercial MLS, Inc. All rights reserved. Last updated on 02-21-2018 6:03pm est.

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