30 July 2010

Single & Nekid

Duncan St., Charleston, S.C.

A single house that is and a rare unpainted one.
Charleston Single House: These distinctive homes have a grace that is perfectly 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.

They may be suited to this climate but nothing helps much with a 120 degree heat index, does it? I walked for an hour at 9 o'clock last night and still came home soaking wet.