Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

30 Queen St.


One of the things we’ve noticed after wandering around Charleston for 3 days is the number of houses for sale.  Much of the historic district seems to be on the market.  We were told that many of these old houses had become “investment properties” and, with the downturn in the economy, the owners have been forced to list them.

Now, these are not your average properties.  A number of them, like the one shown here, predate the American Revolution.  They’ve obviously been well maintained and renovated along the way, but the basic structures go back to the mid – 1700’s.  To me, that’s amazing.  The other “amazing” thing, of course, is the asking price of these places.  My wife, for example, would dearly love this this place (30 Queen St.).  For about $2 million, it’s all ours.  Other places in the area run as high as $4 million.  Then all you have to worry about is hurricanes and other large storms (they don’t call it the Low Country for nothing).

Seriously, I haven’t seen any city quite like Charleston.  We’ve been here 3 times now, and there’s always something new.  The city literally oozes history out of every pore.  Whether you’re walking on Meeting St., King St., Tradd, or my favorite, Longitude Lane, you’re moving backward in time.  Or visit one of the local churches – like St. Phillips – and walk through the cemetery and view the graves of the Calhouns and Pinckneys.  Some of these folks actually signed the U. S. constitution.  But mostly it’s the houses and the streets (a few are still cobblestone).  You won’t find history so well preserved anywhere else, I think.

“Progress” here means maintaining what already exists.  Not a bad idea, actually.


3 Responses to “30 Queen St.”

  1. Earl

    What a beautiful place…just $2 million, now where did I put my checkbook. ~wink~ I fear those who made large investments in real estate will be “hurting” for some time.

  2. Martin Doonan

    “You won’t find history so well preserved anywhere else” how quaintly American 😉

    I always think the best mark of a living city is the way ancient and modern can coexist happily in a sign of continuous, prosperperous use. Something I was thinking just this last weekend walking the streets of London.

  3. Paul Maxim


    Good catch! I guess I should have been a little more specific. I meant, of course, here in the U.S. I certainly didn’t mean it in the global sense. Hell, in the overall scheme of things, we’re still the “new kids” on the block. From a strictly American perspective, Charleston is unique in that it isn’t continuously trying to reinvent itself. It seems content with its cultural identity – including its role in the Civil War. Personally, I find that very refreshing.


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