South of Broad Living South of Broad: History, Real Estate and Lifestyle
It’s no secret that Charleston is a fantastic place to call home. Whether you live here permanently or find solace along our cobblestone streets a few weeks out of the year, there is no doubt that Charleston, and the South of Broad area in particular, embodies everything the Holy City has to offer.
The area deemed South of Broad has served as a foundation for America’s architectural preservation; it, embodies years of history and resonates as a symbol of Southern culture for visitors and residents alike. All of this coupled with endless modern amenities makes South of Broad one of the most sought after locales in the nation.
South of Broad’s Rich History
Living South of Broad creates a life filled with endless opportunities to enjoy the best of Charleston, only steps from your front door. To be specific, South of Broad refers to the residential area to the south of where Broad street intersects the peninsula. Surrounded on the north by the Cooper River and to the south by the Ashley River, South of Broad was the foundation of Charleston’s original residential area for wealthy planters.
Beginning in the 18th century, the architecture stylistically reflected international influences from Europe, combined with practicalities which helped to escape the Southern heat such as expansive piazzas and tall ceilings. Italianate, Victorian, Colonial and eventually Art Deco are only a few of the architectural styles woven throughout this neighborhood.
Despite the wide architectural range, there are several elements intertwined throughout this charming area which make the homes flow seamlessly together. Each story in these multistory homes is almost always lined with piazzas in order to create shade and take advantage of coastal breezes. Tall ceilings, heart pine and cypress floors, iron gates, intricate gardens, winding alleyways and porches lined with colonnades are only a few of the historic design elements often found South of Broad.
If you are looking to buy a home here, there are several property types for you to choose from. Traditional town homes are available in addition to luxury apartments created out of historic properties, but the typical property South of Broad is a multi-story home with several bedrooms and bathrooms. These homes are oftentimes meticulously maintained in order to preserve the historical significance of each structure, many with street-side plaques designating the history of the home.
However, South of Broad is far from a museum, but rather an excellent example of living history. The homes are lovingly maintained by a wonderful community of owners. If you are searching for a restoration property, these do become available from time to time. The community is very involved in historic preservation and there are ample resources around town in order to facilitate one of these projects.
Beyond the quiet streets South of Broad, you’ll find some of Charleston’s finest restaurants and entertainment. Several local spots such as Gaulart & Maliclet (also known as Fast & French), Bin 152, Goat.Sheep.Cow. and Normandy Farms are right along Broad Street. Venturing only a few blocks away provides even more options, both high end and more casual, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or drinks. Charleston is recognized for its inventive cuisine so having options to choose from is not difficult. But having the option to walk to all of your favorites is a luxury of South of Broad residents can enjoy. Biking or taking rickshaws to access other parts of the peninsula are also popular options for getting around Charleston.
Whether you like to stay busy every night of the week, or enjoy an occasional night-out, Charleston has an array of options. This town manages to celebrate its Southern roots while cultivating an exciting culture of food, music, art and entertainment. There is a full calendar of events and entertainment year-round including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (May-June), Charleston Wine + Food Festival (March), Charleston Fashion Week (March) and the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (February), to name a few.
South of Broad may only be steps away from the activity, but a walk across Broad Street takes you into a peaceful, residential neighborhood filled with historic homes and the sounds of horses clip-clopping down the streets. This area takes full advantage of the Charleston lifestyle which can include everything from walking around the corner for fresh coffee and croissants to enjoying a walk along the water to spending the afternoon at the Carolina Yacht Club, browsing the Broad Street art galleries or enjoying the breeze on your patio or in the garden. In the end it is all about soaking in the history of the area while taking time to enjoy the beautiful parks, local shops and world-class restaurants that define this coveted neighborhood.