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Old Posted Aug 9, 2019, 7:24 PM
edale edale is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I've never visited Savannah, but this is my impression of Charleston, and why I'm a bit confused about the city's draw.

Charleston has a gorgeous core, but the really attractive stuff covers at most a square mile. It probably has about as much pre-auto fabric as random older Northern cities like Kingston, Portland and Lancaster, but almost no one visits or moves to these places for urban charm, and magazines don't rank these places above Paris as travel destinations. And because you can only preserve the charm by keeping as-is, all the growth is on the fringe, and doesn't look different from the stuff you see in every other booming SE Sunbelt metro.

To me, Charleston is basically another Charlotte-Raleigh type transplant city, but with a cute historic core instead of glassy skyscrapers. They have built quite the reputation, though. People are moving from places with existing neglected historic cores to sprawl, on the pretext that they value historic cores.

And that also has me wondering if you put say, Kingston, in say Alabama, would it be a hot city? If Charleston were say in NJ would it be a backwater?
I think you're discrediting Charleston a bit too much. It has a very distinct vernacular architecture, and it's historic area has some really lively commercial streets that you don't see in a lot of places. King Street is pretty vibrant and active for many, many blocks and I would say the core of Charleston has a more cohesive stretch of commercial urbanism than just about any city in the south outside of New Orleans. There aren't too many streets that look and function like this in the south:!8i6656

It's pretty easy to see the appeal of a place like this:!8i6656

The College of Charleston also injects a bit of life to the core that a lot of cities would definitely love to have. It's a great little city, at least in terms of built form. Its age is also quite unique, as it's older than just about everywhere else in the country, save for a few cities. The gaslights and architecture, and being surrounded by the ocean on three sides makes for a pretty unique environment:!8i6656
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