Charleston SC is a city built on history. The morning commute takes residents past towering centuries-old church steeples. Sunday bicycle rides twist and turn through narrow, ancient alleyways, and picnic blankets are spread out in the shade of Spanish moss-draped Southern live oaks. The people who live here have a keen appreciation for history, and for preserving it. Of course, as time trudges on, bricks crack, statues rust, and lumber rots. And so we are left with two options: allow our beloved city to wither away, or take action and work to immortalize our historic homes, cathedrals, and thoroughfares. Luckily, as a town that takes pride in paying tribute to the past, Charleston has established a multitude of historical societies whose primary mission is to preserve the Holy City’s splendid architecture in both memory and form. This includes the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Preservation Society of Charleston.
Whether you’re looking to make a city that cherishes its history your home, or you’re considering restoring your Lowcountry home to its former glory, there are an array of options.
Here are 3 historic Charleston gems that have been polished to a stunning shine:
1. Residential-commerce thrives once more on Broad St.
Our Georgian-style merchant's house, located downtown at 95 Broad St., is a true treasure. Once a dual-use building (half residential/half commercial) to merchant and planter Peter Bocquet, Jr., this 231 year old, three and a half story structure in the heart of downtown Charleston, is now the site of our Charleston restoration offices. Every update made to this gorgeous house has respected the original stylistic integrity of the structure. One of the Regency-era front doors dates back to the early 19th century, while the black wrought-iron balcony is considered to be original.
2. Keeping the Holy in Holy City
As a large port city and one of the Southeast’s gateways to the world, this town has established various prayer spaces, centers of faith, and congregation halls for countless denominations (we’ve even got the country’s second oldest operational synagogue!) One of the most recent restorations of a religious structure is the French Huguenot Church, located downtown on the corner of Church and Queen. Originally constructed in 1687, this massive church has been re-built three times since. The current structure was designed by famous Charleston architect E.B. White and erected in 1847. At the time, it was Charleston’s first and only Gothic revival style building. Restoration efforts in the past three years have changed the exterior color back to its original powdered pink!
3. From planters, to doctors, to clergymen, to tourists
Some historical structures in Charleston have passed a whole lot of hands before finding their current purpose. The Jasmine House, on Hasell St., is a perfect example! Built by wealthy merchant Benjamin F Smith in 1843, the house served residential, religious, and commercial purposes before undergoing major renovations in 1982 to accentuate the structure’s Greek Revival design elements. Today, the Jasmine House is a luxurious inn, whose fifteen foot ceilings, plaster entablatures, and elaborate iron work introduce visitors from across the world to Charleston’s unique 19th century school of architecture.
Note: With all these beautiful houses available (and all the ones out there just waiting to be restored to their former beauty), you might be wondering at this point how to afford these sorts of things. The simple answer is it probably isn’t nearly as expensive as you’d think. And depending upon how much restorative work you would like done, companies like Luxury Simplified Construction can stay within virtually any budget. With our impeccable attention to detail and our network of skilled craftsmen we have the knowledge and understanding of what makes a successful historic restoration. Schedule a consultation today, and we’ll make sure that your Lowcountry home is telling the one-of-a-kind story it was born to tell.
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