Charleston’s Historic District is filled with so many fascinating sites and stories. What makes this area so special is that it has a rich past and contains quite a few quirks that you’d be surprised to learn about! Get a taste for the unique charm of the area through these ten interesting facts about the Charleston, SC Historic District. And, if you’d love to experience the Historic District up close, book a horse-drawn carriage tour with Classic Carriage Works today!
The Area was Often Attacked By Pirates
Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard,” managed to blockade the entire Charleston Harbor in 1718. This stopped all merchant activity in the Historic District as he held multiple citizens hostage in exchange for medicine.
Home to America’s First Museum
The Charleston Museum was established in 1773 and is considered the very first museum in America. It contains artifacts, natural history exhibits, and two historic Charleston houses. You can find it on Meeting Street in the Historic District.
Home to America’s First Theatre
The Historic District is also home to America’s First theatre, known as the Dock Street Theatre. It was built in 1736 on the corner of Church Street and Queen Street and was the first building created solely for performance purposes.
A Pineapple is a Symbol of Hospitality
Back in the day, captains would spear a pineapple to their fence posts to signify they were home and wanted to talk about their adventures out at sea. This is how the pineapple came to symbolize hospitality, and you’ll find it all throughout Charleston.
The Battery is the Most Visited Destination in the Historic District
The Battery is a beautiful waterfront walkway with sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor. It also contains the quaint White Point Garden, as well as the iconic Pineapple Fountain that memorializes the Holy City’s symbol of hospitality!
Contains Rainbow Row
You can’t talk about the Historic District without mentioning Rainbow Row. Perhaps the next most iconic destination in the area, this beautifully restored row of colorful antebellum homes is truly a sight to see. Stroll down East Bay Street for a view of their pastel shades!
Filled with Charleston Single Houses
Charleston “single houses” were specifically designed to catch cross breezes. You’ll see that each house has a piazza that faces either south or west for this purpose. This was particularly necessary back when there was no air conditioning!
Buildings Accented with Charleston Green
There’s an old tale about how this color came to be. Upon the close of the Civil War, the city was sent black paint from the Union to restore their homes. However, people added in a hint of yellow to offset the Yankee black. This is what created the distinct color that you’ll see all throughout the Historic District.
The Annual Spoleto USA Festival is Hosted Here
Spoleto USA is a highly-esteemed, seventeen-day performing arts festival. It attracts hundreds of local, national, and international artists and takes place throughout nearly every corner of the Historic District every year. From acrobatics and operas to films and orchestras, this event is always highly anticipated and is such an honor to host!
The Famous Novel “Porgy” is Set Here
Church Street is the location of Dubose Heyward’s famous 1925 novel “Porgy.” More specifically, it follows the life of a local man who lived in the historically significant Catfish Row, which is a three-story structure built in the Revolutionary War Era. The novel was such a success that it was later adapted into a well-praised opera called “Porgy and Bess,” which also takes place on Church Street.
Book a Tour with Classic Carriage Works
If you enjoyed these ten interesting facts about the Charleston, SC Historic District, consider booking a tour with Classic Carriage Works. There is so much more in the Historic District for you to discover, and there’s no better way to view it than by horse-drawn carriage. On a carriage tour, you’ll get the chance to see so many of the area’s wonders up close while an experienced guide provides you with all of the history and details. Experience the city in a new way—book a tour with us today!