Charleston Shutters: A Closer Look

Shutters are common on the many glorious homes you’ll find throughout the Charleston Historic District. Many of the guests on my walking tours enjoy spending time photographing the various window boxes and windows found at ground level. If you’re passing by in a horse drawn carriage or bus, you’ll miss the exquisite detail just waiting to be noticed. These beauties are changed seasonally and are meant to be admired.
The shutters provide shade, privacy and protection from hurricanes. Typically, the first floor shutters are solid paneled to provide maximum privacy and additional security.
Shutters on the upper floors are louvered to allow ventilation and hopefully, a welcomed breeze in summer months.
Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review requires that all shutters on historic buildings be operable and made of wood.
Shutter dogs are decorative metal elements used to hold the shutters open. The earliest shutter dogs in Charleston are called “rat tail” shutter dogs. “Propeller” shutter dogs are another early form. Shutter dogs that look like seashells were likely made after the 1850s. The “s” shaped shutter dogs are the most modern.
Come and visit Charleston on foot to discover the shutter dogs up close.
To book a tour, please visit my website or call me directly.

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