What is a Charleston Single House?

If you’re lucky enough to have strolled the beautiful historic streets of Charleston, then you’ve no doubt seen a Charleston Single House. We thought we’d share a bit of history about one of our favorite styles of homes.

These eye catching and distinctive houses first appeared in Charleston in the early 1800s and gained popularity after the fire of 1740 swept through the waterfront district. From The South Carolina Encyclopedia entry by Daniel J. Vivian, “The typical single house stands two or more stories in height and is built on a rectangular plan with its narrow end facing the street. Each floor has two rooms with a central stair-hall in between. Piazzas occupy the long wall facing the inside of the lot, and the chimneys are located on the opposite wall, in the rear of the house.”

While historians have debated the origins of the style, the most common explanation is that the narrow profile of the home helped air to circulate across the piazzas and through the home to help cool the structure during Charleston’s hot & humid summers.

You’ll find the stately homes pictured above on The Battery.  The evolution of the style can also be found in the following locations: Charles Elliott House at 43 Legare Street (ca. 1759; altered in 1911); 90 and 94 Church Street (ca. 1760–1765); the Robert Pringle House at 70 Tradd Street (ca. 1774); the Simmons-Edwards House at 14 Legare Street (ca. 1800); and the Timothy Ford House at 54 Meeting Street (ca. 1800–1806).

Want to make a Charleston Single House your new home?  As Certified Historic Property Specialists, we’d love to help guide you through the process of finding the perfect historical home for you.  Set up a time to chat with us!


Lauren & Cambron | Lauren Zurilla & Associates


Source: https://charlestoncurrents.com/2015/07/history-charleston-single-house/