The downtown Charleston community robustly known as the Eastside is bounded by Meeting and East Bay Streets to the west and east and Mary and Stewart Streets to the north and south. Established in 1769 as Hampstead Village, the area was home to a vibrant community of free African American tradesmen and their families. Most of the homes in the neighborhood were built either in the 1830’s or between 1870 and 1900 and include a mix of Charleston singles, two-story Victorian homes and freedman’s cottages.
The neighborhood has been in various stages of decline since the Civil War with Hurricane Hugo almost delivering a fatal blow to the community. Yet, the culture, history and central location of Eastside make it worth preserving, and although change has taken decades, the neighborhood is finally starting to revitalize, and many of the once-neglected historic buildings have been transformed into beautiful urban homes.