House on the Battery in Charleston SC

One of the best things to do in the city of Charleston is simply meander the streets, taking in the old mansions, unique storefronts, and historical buildings. You’ll notice that no two structures are the same.

Here’s a guide to 8 of the architectural styles that fill this city and ways that you can tell one apart from the other:


  • Low foundation
  • Few windows
  • Brick or wood siding


  • Box chimneys
  • Raised basements
  • Triangular pediment


  • Ironwork balconies
  • Staircases
  • Fan lights

Classical Revival

  • Large columns
  • Arches
  • Triangular pediment

Gothic Revival

  • Finials
  • Castle-like
  • Ornate design


  • Low pitched roof
  • Cupolas
  • Overhanging eaves with decorative brackets


  • Fine details
  • Asymmetrical façade
  • Stained glass and bright paint colors

Art Deco

  • Narrow windows
  • Geometric shapes
  • Colorful decorative details

This map has an example of each of the 8 styles.  Zoom into street view to see them up close.

View Charleston Architecture in a larger map

However, the quintessential Charleston building, the one that can be found on postcards and websites and tours everywhere, is the Charleston single home. A large porch, with a front door that opens to the porch not the interior of the house characterizes the single home.

This beautiful example is a restoration project we did on East Bay Street.

House on East Bay Street in Charleston SC


If you want to see more interior shots of this traditional Charleston single home, visit our Pinterest board!

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