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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27 Photos 32 1/2 Mary Street Charleston, SC 29403

32 1/2 Mary Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 19021144 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1450 Sqft

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Don't Miss this Immaculately-Kept 3BR/3BA Hidden Gem in the Heart of Downtown Charleston, Situated between Bustling M... 

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$680,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
64 Photos 1 Prices Alley Charleston, SC 29401

1 Prices Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19021117 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 5675 Sqft

A Great opportunity to enjoy total privacy in the middle of the South Of Broad Community. This magnificent home backs up to the quiet of Prices All... 

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$2,900,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
1 Photos Sold 59 Cannon Street Charleston, SC 29403

59 Cannon Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19021110 / Sold
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1991 Sqft

sale purposes only. no off street parking. business not included in sale 

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$1,200,000
Provided courtesy of Tift Properties
50 Photos 49 Tradd Street Charleston, SC 29401

49 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19021065 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2 Half Bath, 3499 Sqft

Located in the renowned South of Broad neighborhood in downtown Charleston, this historic home has been totally renovated to meet today's lifestyle... 

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$3,134,000
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate
47 Photos 16 Bedons Alley Charleston, SC 29401

16 Bedons Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19021016 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 3269 Sqft

16 Bedon's Alley c.1790,nestled on a quiet private street,reminiscent of an Italian walkway,is on one of the 8 original Alleys within the Old Walle... 

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$2,400,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
21 Photos 50 Gadsden Street Charleston, SC 29401

50 Gadsden Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19020998 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1638 Sqft

Sitting in this living rm, the back deck & lg walled lush garden create a quiet tropical feeling. This Harleston Village townhouse is fee simple=no... 

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$699,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
49 Photos 193 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401

193 Broad Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19020939 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 3507 Sqft

This is your Opportunity to Own in an Incredible Victorian 4BR/3BA 2-Story Duplex Property in the Iconic South of Broad Community of Downtown Charl... 

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$1,650,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
20 Photos 9 Sheppard Street Charleston, SC 29403

9 Sheppard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 19020922 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 664 Sqft

*EXCELLENT INVESTMENT - COLLEGE STUDENTS - PERSONAL USE - DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON* Total Renovation in 2014. Closely located to The Alley, Midtown, Re... 

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$299,000
Provided courtesy of EXP Realty LLC
11 Photos 145 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

145 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19020850 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1184 Sqft

 

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$419,000
Provided courtesy of EXP Realty LLC
16 Photos 81 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

81 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19020834 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2232 Sqft

PENTHOUSE!! This large sunlit historic 4 bedroom condo is in downtown Charleston. Perfect for those that want to be within walking and/or biking ... 

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$685,000
Provided courtesy of Jordan Realty
39 Photos 19 Reid Street Charleston, SC 29403

19 Reid Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 19020720 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2400 Sqft

Gorgeous new construction in a great walk-able area of downtown. East side is a trendy up and coming part of downtown Charleston. Come be a part of... 

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$629,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
45 Photos 5 Motley Lane Charleston, SC 29401

5 Motley Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19020712 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4059 Sqft

One of a kind home in historic Ansonborough. This magnificent 3-story property combines a well built design coupled with clean contemporary lines. ... 

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$2,100,000
Provided courtesy of Healthy Realty LLC
44 Photos 257 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

257 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 19020696 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 2310 Sqft

*Massive price adjustment* This historic 5 bedroom/4 full bathroom home is priced to sell! The home has all of the charm you would expect from the ... 

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$664,900
Reduced -$100
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
23 Photos 9 West St Charleston, SC 29401

9 West St
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19020873 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 474 Sqft

This charming pied-a-terre is nestled on a quiet street in the heart of Historic Downtown Charleston. It's located in a quiet neighborhood within w... 

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$384,900
Provided courtesy of Jeff Cook Real Estate LLC
9 Photos 61 A Barre Street Charleston, SC 29401

61 A Barre Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19020456 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3000 Sqft

Halsey Park has just released the first of two Town Homes, custom designed by BEAU CLOWNEY ARCHITECTS. Each has 3 BRs and 3.5 baths with over 3,000... 

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$2,250,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
10 Photos 10 Rosemont Street Charleston, SC 29403

10 Rosemont Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 19020279 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1520 Sqft

Attention! Investors and Buyers a Great Investment Opportunity to own or rent this property located in historic downtown Charleston. This property... 

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$400,000
Provided courtesy of Exit Realty Lowcountry Group
1 Photos 171 Jackson Street Charleston, SC 29403

171 Jackson Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 19020242 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1000 Sqft

Proposed construction downtown! Be among the first to get into this up and coming area close to the Cigar Factory, highway access and all that dow... 

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$400,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate Services
24 Photos 2 Harlem Court Charleston, SC 29403

2 Harlem Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 19020350 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1150 Sqft

Quiet and private in the heart of downtown this single family home has two off street parking spots and a beautiful backyard living space. Large li... 

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$739,900
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate
24 Photos 2 Colonial Street Charleston, SC 29401

2 Colonial Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19020199 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1810 Sqft

An elegant Fitzsimons townhome is now available. Welcome to friendly Colonial Street - home to families of all ages. Take a short walk to the Bat... 

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$950,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Flat Fee Real Estate
15 Photos 23 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

23 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19020465 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1786 Sqft

Estate Sale! South of Broad Fitzsimmons townhouse only steps away from Colonial Lake. Low maintenance, fee simple with no association fees. Private... 

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$735,000
Provided courtesy of The Exchange Company, LLC
31 Photos 64 Lenwood Boulevard Charleston, SC 29401

64 Lenwood Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19020178 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1002 Sqft

If you want high end, luxurious, maintenance-free living in one of Downtown Charleston's most sought after neighborhoods just two blocks from The B... 

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$949,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill 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 07-19-2019 6:04 PM 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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