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The Charleston Single House

The Charleston Single House is the architectural style most associated with Charleston, South Carolina. These distinctive homes are suited to the hot, humid local climate. They are only one room wide and the narrow end of the house faces the street. Two-story verandas (called "piazzas" in Charleston) stretch down the long side.

The one-room-wide houses offered welcome cross-ventilation in the days before air-conditioning. And the piazza was a shaded place to sit. From the porch you could enjoy the view of your side-garden too. This is a truly Southern architectural style.

Another interesting feature of a Charleston Single House is that the front door is on the porch! Yes, go through the front door from the street and you're on the porch, not inside the house proper. It provides needed privacy because the entrance hall is centered on the side of the house.

Neo-traditional developments on the east coast are reviving and spreading this architecture design. It lends variety and interest to new subdivisions that put a high priority on historically-correct architecture. House plans are available from companies like this one.

Despite the simple layout of the Charleston Single House, any visitor to that city will see a great variety in the details of these beautiful historic homes. More house photos to enjoy. The Historic Charleston Foundation's annual Festival of Houses and Gardens is an opportunity to explore Charleston single houses and other fine private residences.

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