14 January 2017

Teeny, tiny houses of Charleston - Line St.

Line St., Charleston, SC     
I walked the line this morning - Line St. that is. I did this route last weekend in the dripping rain while today is warm and sunny. Adding to our series of tiny dwelling are these Freedman's cottages. Looking for information on these traditional Charleston cottages I discovered that there is actually a book about them. What a fun book to research.

The Charleston "Freedman's Cottage": An Architectural Tradition
Charleston’s “freedman’s cottages” are some of the most understudied and undervalued vernacular buildings in the city, found as far south as Council Street and as far north as North Charleston. Though these cottages have long been associated with African American history and culture, they in fact extend much further into the history and development of Charleston and deserve to be studied and understood. The predominant theory is that these tiny houses, often no larger than five hundred square feet, were constructed by and for freed slaves after the Civil War, due to a rising need for inexpensive housing. Who occupied these houses over time? What were their lives like? Most of them were ordinary citizens to whom we can all relate. Each one of these houses has at least a hundred stories to tell, many of which have been uncovered and recounted here.