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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38 Photos 77 Pitt Street Charleston, SC 29403

77 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18030879 / Active
10 br, 5 ba, 4300 sqft

Historic 1800s, three unit home located downtown Charleston in the heart of Radcliffborough. Located steps to the College of Charleston, MUSC, King... 

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$1,675,000
Provided courtesy of Tift Properties
28 Photos 34 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

34 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18030821 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1202 sqft

Recently featured on HGTV! Beautifully renovated first floor flat located in Harleston Village as one of the Italian style villlas of Montagu and s... 

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$629,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
12 Photos 245 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

245 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 18030777 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 2425 sqft

DUPLEX: In the middle of everything in the now hip and high demand area of Cannonborough. _ This duplex is located near the corner of Bogart and R... 

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$845,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Preferred Group
3 Photos 109 Bogard Street Charleston, SC 29403

109 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 18030769 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 2100 sqft

Fantastic income producing property that is very close to The College Of Charleston and MUSC. This home has a fantastic rental history and is curr... 

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$650,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
22 Photos 330 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 18030675 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1580 sqft

Enjoy harbor breezes and views of the Ravenel Bridge from this lovely townhome in the Dockside community. This turn-key unit features hardwood flo... 

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$535,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC
24 Photos 153 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

153 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18030651 / Active
8 br, 6 ba, 3579 sqft

Turn-key Short Term Rental (''STR''). Licensed and legal, the property is zoned Limited Business (LB) and located in the Short Term Rental Overlay... 

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$2,135,000
Provided courtesy of McAlister Preferred Properties
24 Photos 28 Jasper Street Charleston, SC 29403

28 Jasper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18030731 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1580 sqft

A beautifully renovated home in the Radcliffborough neighborhood of Charleston's peninsula. 28 Jasper features 2 large bedrooms and 2 bathrooms up ... 

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$839,000
Provided courtesy of Marshall Walker Real Estate
30 Photos 258 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

258 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 18030617 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 3058 sqft

Also listed as multi-family MLS #18026983. Wonderfully restored property with spacious rooms, hardwood floors, high ceilings and large walled in pa... 

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$899,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
28 Photos 2 Poulnot Lane Charleston, SC 29401

2 Poulnot Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18030604 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1540 sqft

There's a reason why Poulnot Lane endures as one of Harleston Village's most sought after enclaves: It's difficult to beat the charm, convenience, ... 

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$649,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
32 Photos 70 Warren Street Charleston, SC 29403

70 Warren Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 18030600 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 3039 sqft

Prepare to be delighted and impressed with this fully renovated, light filled home on charming Warren Street. The current owners, both artists and... 

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$1,995,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC
60 Photos 11 George Street Charleston, SC 29401

11 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 18030541 / Active
10 br, 6 ba, 6017 sqft

Unique opportunity to live in/ operate a licensed Bed & Breakfast in the heart of historic downtown Charleston! Fully Furnished! Located in the ele... 

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$3,499,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate
18 Photos 48 Bull Street Charleston, SC 29401

48 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18030488 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2142 sqft

This 1815 residence offers a perfectly executed blend of historic architecture and luxurious contemporary aesthetic. Unit A is one of two residenc... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of Domicile Real Estate Brokerage
33 Photos 86 Drake Street Charleston, SC 29403

86 Drake Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 18030490 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1958 sqft

Don't Miss this Amazing Opportunity to Customize a Historic Charleston-Style Home with all your Favorite Finishes, Colors, and Floorplan needs, INC... 

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$850,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
29 Photos 22 Ascot Aly Charleston, SC 29401

22 Ascot Aly
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 18030602 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1668 sqft

With its great curb appeal and a charming front porch, this traditional Charleston townhouse is conveniently located near MUSC, Charleston Law Scho... 

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$527,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Island Real Estate Co Inc
64 Photos 27 Lamboll Street Charleston, SC 29401

27 Lamboll Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18030395 / Active
4 br, 6 ba, 1 half bath, 6830 sqft

Commanding the corner of Legare and Lamboll, this property is a showstopper after the completion of a two year renovation. The heart of the home i... 

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$6,995,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC
35 Photos Zig Zag Alley Charleston, SC 29401

Zig Zag Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 18030399 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 2408 sqft

Take a stroll down a charming alley near The Battery to find this unique 1800s carriage house tucked behind a brick-walled courtyard designed by Ma... 

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$1,300,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
21 Photos 158 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

158 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 18030536 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1480 sqft

Spacious first floor 2BR, 2BA condominium one block to Colonial Lake and six blocks to King Street's shopping, dining and entertainment. No stairs ... 

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$529,900
Provided courtesy of Pate Properties Inc
34 Photos 85 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

85 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18030280 / Active
7 br, 3 ba, 3284 sqft

Looking for an income producing property? This is a perfect opportunity to own a Short Term Rental in the highly desired STR overlay! The main hous... 

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$1,450,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
45 Photos 116 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

116 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18030276 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 3306 sqft

This is a perfect investment opportunity located within the highly desired Short Term Rental overlay! Zoned Limited Business, this cash-flowing pro... 

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$1,500,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
91 Photos 165 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

165 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18030237 / Active
9 br, 5 ba, 1 half bath, 4222 sqft

This is an incredible Short Term Rental property located within the highly desired STR overlay. Zoned General Business and currently operating as S... 

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$2,500,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
44 Photos 167 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

167 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 18030239 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1552 sqft

Don't miss this opportunity for an income flowing duplex located in the highly desired Short Term Rental overlay! Zoned General Business, this prop... 

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$1,170,000
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 11-16-2018 11:02pm 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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