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 Photos 5.5-A Kracke Street Charleston, SC 29403

5.5-A Kracke Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18026209 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 860 sqft

Welcome to 5 1/2 - A Kracke Street! This 2-bedroom condo is in a fantastic location walking distance to MUSC, Charleston School of Law, C of C and... 

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$319,000
Provided courtesy of Catalyst Group SC
30 Photos 41 Barre Street Charleston, SC 29401

41 Barre Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18026205 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1888 sqft

Exceptional and RARE OPPORTUNITY to own this classic home with the largest lot (.46 acre) on the CHARLESTON PENINSULA! Lovely Harleston Village is ... 

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$900,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
44 Photos 150 Bee Street Charleston, SC 29401

150 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 18026202 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 806 sqft

This gorgeous industrial style loft includes contemporary finishes and opens directly onto the large courtyard offering incredible views of the Ash... 

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$389,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
31 Photos 8 Sires Street Charleston, SC 29403

8 Sires Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 18026204 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1395 sqft

Don't miss your opportunity to preview this attractive Investment Duplex property located in the heart of Elliotborough and within steps of the Kin... 

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$549,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
23 Photos 2 Franklin Street Charleston, SC 29401

2 Franklin Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18026208 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 3385 sqft

This well maintained 5 bedroom home, circa 1890, is located in the historic district of downtown Charleston just steps from Broad Street and Burbag... 

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$1,725,000
Provided courtesy of Robertson Howland Properties
20 Photos 156 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

156 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18026125 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1378 sqft

Ideally located within a five minute walk to MUSC, Charleston School of Law, College of Charleston, and King St, this attractive duplex is such a g... 

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$529,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
21 Photos 181 Queen Street Charleston, SC 29401

181 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18025892 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3614 sqft

***INCLUDES BAR APPROVED PLANS FOR 3 UNITS***Own a beautiful piece of history with this grand, Charleston-Single with views of Colonial Lake. Built... 

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$949,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC
64 Photos 174 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401

174 Broad Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18025884 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 2639 sqft

Absolutely gorgeous historical down town home on Broad. Completely renovated 4 bedroom 4.5 bathroom by Cook Bonner Construction. Original hardwoods... 

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$2,400,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group
37 Photos 2 Wharfside Street Charleston, SC 29401

2 Wharfside Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Place
Residential

MLS# 18025856 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2862 sqft

One of only 4 Harbor-front units at Laurens Place. This 3rd floor residence has 180 degree+ views of the harbor, from the Ravenel Bridge to the ful... 

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$2,800,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
30 Photos 276 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

276 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 18025824 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1867 sqft

INCREDIBLE LOCATION! One block from King Street & walking distance to beautiful, scenic, Hampton Park in downtown Charleston, this historic home ma... 

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$529,000
Reduced -$10,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
16 Photos 202 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

202 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 18025769 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 637 sqft

Beautiful and well-kept condominium home in prime downtown location! Seconds from MUSC, restaurants and entertainment, and convenient access to maj... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of RE/MAX Alliance
49 Photos 21 George Street Charleston, SC 29401

21 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
George And Society
Residential

MLS# 18025750 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 934 sqft

Check out this gorgeous downtown Charleston condominium, whether you are looking short term or long term, this is an investment you can't turn down... 

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$669,900
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
35 Photos 21 George Street Charleston, SC 29401

21 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
George And Society
Residential

MLS# 18025949 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1306 sqft

THE ASSESSMENT HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL.This is truly what Charleston is made of. Gorgeous top floor unit in the much sought after George and Society... 

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$977,500
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
27 Photos 77 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

77 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18025650 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 2370 sqft

Circa 1747, this gem is ideally located in the heart of Charleston's Historic District. The Captain Francis Baker House property is comprised of tw... 

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$1,595,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
19 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18025621 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1272 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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$883,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
19 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
The Gadsden
Residential

MLS# 18025620 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1184 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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$999,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
29 Photos 73 Pitt Street Charleston, SC 29403

73 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18025611 / Active
8 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 5144 sqft

The William Waller House, built between 1832-1840 is rich in history. Said to be built by Richard Holloway due to the Palladian window in the front... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
19 Photos 15 Judith Street Charleston, SC 29403

15 Judith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 18025560 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 1883 sqft

Built in 2009, this lovely 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home is move-in ready. Three large, bright bedrooms each have fully updated baths. The 2nd level bed... 

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$735,000
Provided courtesy of Elaine Brabham and Associates
44 Photos 53 Warren Street Charleston, SC 29403

53 Warren Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18025554 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1822 sqft

Light & bright Charleston Single House featuring two, 2 bedroom 1 bath, apartments. Includes off street parking, a lovely private courtyard and we... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
12 Photos 286 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29401

286 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 18025535 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 985 sqft

286 Meeting Street is the grand brick home known as the Noyer-Wildhagen House. The impressive example of Federal architecture was built in 1807 and... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
53 Photos 4 Savage Street Charleston, SC 29401

4 Savage Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18025530 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2528 sqft

This South of Broad home offers historic features with modern amenities and has been pre-raised on recently re-pointed brick pillars. The granite c... 

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$990,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
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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 09-24-2018 8:03pm 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.
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