The History Behind Rainbow Row in Charleston | Carolina Snaps


Rainbow Row is a highly popular tourist attraction located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Although these buildings look bright and new, these houses date all the way back to the 1700’s. The row consists of 13 pastel brick homes which showcase distinct chimneys, square windows, and intricate colonial-style details. 

The iconic array of pastels that Rainbow Row is known for all started when preservationist Dorothy Haskell Porcher Legge bought the Othniel Beale House on 99-101 East Bay Street in the 1930’s. Despite opposition from other Charlestonians, Legge renovated the Othniel Beale House and painted it a bright pink color which quickly caught on with the rest of her neighbors. Legge later partnered with fellow preservationist Susan Pringle Frost to renovate many of the deteriorating homes on East Bay Street while maintaining most of their original designs and parts.  

Today, Rainbow Row still stands high in the heart of Charleston’s historic downtown district and is one of the most busy and photographed tourist sites in the Palmetto State!”

Carolina Snaps brings you South Carolina people, places, and notable events in history...all in a snap!  Watch these 60 second episodes on Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, and the SCETV App.