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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16 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 19001874 / Pending
2 br, 2 ba, 1155 Sqft

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

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$989,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
56 Photos 61 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

61 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19001843 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 3000 Sqft

Circa 1922 beautifully renovated income producing duplex in quiet residential Harleston Village neighborhood with double piazzas. Three bedrooms an... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
39 Photos 51 Laurens Street Charleston, SC 29401

51 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19001752 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3238 Sqft

Beautiful Charleston Single House in the desirable Ansonborough neighborhood in Downtown Charleston. Built in 1805, this home is the perfect marri... 

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$1,550,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
23 Photos 53 S Battery Charleston, SC 29401

53 S Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19001742 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2652 Sqft

Reside in Charleston's most coveted neighborhood, South of Broad. 53 South Battery is a fully renovated, turn-key FitzSimons townhouse only a block... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
31 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 19001654 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 824 Sqft

Luxurious 5th floor condo with views of the new Gadsdenboro Park! Imagine yourself living in the heart of downtown Charleston, strolling to the far... 

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$549,000
Provided courtesy of eXp Realty Charleston
32 Photos 7-11 Lowndes Street Charleston, SC 29401

7-11 Lowndes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19001641 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3110 Sqft

Rare Opportunity South of Broad! TWO adjacent parcels offered For Sale. These properties offer a new owner multiple possibilities and the ability... 

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$2,699,000
Provided courtesy of McAlister Preferred Properties
93 Photos 103 Church Street Charleston, SC 29401

103 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19001568 / Active
7 br, 6 ba, 1 Half Bath, 7590 Sqft

Truly a rare historic offering in the heart of 18th century ''South of Broad'' Charleston. This fine, multi-unit building (6 meters) features elega... 

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$4,800,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
27 Photos 346 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

346 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 19001564 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1454 Sqft

RARE FIND in the heart of downtown Charleston! This 2nd floor condo (top floor) is the perfect pied-a-terre, located above Alex & Ani on King St. ... 

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$880,000
Provided courtesy of Healthy Realty LLC
10 Photos 173 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

173 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Rutledge Green
Residential

MLS# 19001542 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1075 Sqft

This unit is located in Rutledge Green, across from Ashley Hall school and in front of MUSC. It provides great opportunity for rental income from t... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Ravenel Associates Real Estate. LLC
21 Photos 85 Cumberland Street Charleston, SC 29401

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 19001507 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 631 Sqft

This second floor apartment has beautiful views of Saint Philips Church and churchyard. With practically floor to ceiling windows in each room ther... 

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$459,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
53 Photos 330 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 19001441 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1100 Sqft

Best views in all of Charleston!! This penthouse unit is on the top two floors on the Southwest Corner of the building. Enjoy the amazing waterfron... 

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$700,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
30 Photos 53 Vanderhorst Street Charleston, SC 29403

53 Vanderhorst Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19001426 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2264 Sqft

This home, in the heart of downtown Charleston, has 10' high ceilings on both the first and second floors, and a gorgeous wooden staircase between ... 

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$875,000
Provided courtesy of Catalyst Group SC
35 Photos 40 Hasell Street Charleston, SC 29401

40 Hasell Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19001387 / Active
6 br, 3 ba, 4492 Sqft

Fantastic opportunity to own this extraordinary pied-a-terre retreat with CARRIAGE HOUSE, just steps from shopping and dining in HISTORIC ANSONBORO... 

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$1,800,000
Provided courtesy of Healthy Realty LLC
28 Photos 330 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 19001247 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2642 Sqft

Dramatic 2-story penthouse on the 18th and 19th floors of Dockside Condominiums. Enjoy panoramic views of downtown Charleston, the South Carolina A... 

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$1,600,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
21 Photos 55 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

55 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19001244 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 3152 Sqft

Located on lovely tree-lined block of Montagu. Each unit is approx. 1,576 sqft, has high ceilings, spacious rooms, and wood floors. Unit B, living... 

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$1,249,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
25 Photos 350 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

350 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Historic District
Residential

MLS# 19001224 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 495 Sqft

DEEDED PARKING SPOT INCLUDED with this amazing unit!!!! (a true rare gem)! Don't miss your chance to own this Urban Loft condo nestled in the hear... 

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$350,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
19 Photos 6 Peele Place Charleston, SC 29401

6 Peele Place
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 19001187 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1550 Sqft

In the heart of Harleston Village, near the Medical University, Roper Hospital, restaurants, and shopping is this beautifully done townhouse with t... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
23 Photos 84 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

84 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19001178 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 782 Sqft

The perfect pied-a-terre for the discerning buyer, this charming South of Broad home is tucked back among grand oaks off lower King Street. Sited ... 

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$725,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC
41 Photos 53 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

53 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19001099 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 2 Half Bath, 3241 Sqft

Welcome to 53 Montagu! 53 Montagu is a gorgeous brick home centrally located in one of the most sought after neighborhoods on the Peninsula, Harle... 

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$1,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
14 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 19001066 / Active
1 br, 2 ba, 1170 Sqft

Elegant top floor condominium overlooking the river. Great location within walking distance to so many of Charleston's finest spots. Living area ... 

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$835,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
17 Photos 109 Bogard Street Charleston, SC 29403

109 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 19001052 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 2100 Sqft

OUTSTANDING DOWNTOWN RENTAL! 109 Bogard Street is a great income generating 5-bedroom home is within bike riding distance to MUSC, College of Char... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
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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 01-19-2019 11:01pm 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 2019 Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved.
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