“Piazzas” of Charleston

Piazzas of Charleston

I’ve always dreamed of having a home with beautiful porches. Maybe this is 1 of my many “draws” to Charleston, SC…the BEAUTIFUL porches!

So today I thought I’d share a brief lesson about the “porches” of Charleston…
✔️First; you’ll definitely sound like a “tourist” if you refer to them as “porches” because in Charleston they are lovingly called “piazzas” and they are a beautiful extension of living space on the Charleston Single homes.

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✔️The term Charleston Single Home refers to an architectural design uniquely “Charleston” where the house is build narrow (one room wide in most cases) and long with the “front” of the house being the narrow side that is perpendicular to the street.

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✔️The homes were build this way; typically with 2 “piazzas” (one on each floor) running the length of the home to take advantage of the cool cross breezes from the water
✔️What may appear to be a front door – the door facing the street – is only an entrance to the first floor private “piazza”. This was intended to give more privacy to the homeowners during the Victorian period. We’ve been told; on several tours of Charleston that we’ve taken, that if the door to the private piazza was open it meant that the family was home & welcoming guests & if it was closed that guests were not welcome at that time. While strolling the beautiful streets of Charleston I’ve often wondered if that still applies today?

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✔️Many of the ceilings on the piazzas in Charleston are painted “Haint” blue (a soft blue-green) to ward off evil spirits called “haints” from entering the home. It is also believed to prevent wasps from building nests on the piazza ceilings.

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Have you been to Charleston? What is your favorite part? I’m not sure I could pick just one.

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