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Charleston City House On the Chattahoochee River

The Single House (or City House) is a historic design that is well suited to a hot, humid climate — true of Charleston during its colonization, and applicable to the affluent Atlanta community of Sweetbottom Plantation in Duluth, Georgia. These one-room-wide houses offered welcome cross-ventilation in the days before air-conditioning. They are only one room wide, hence the term, "single house", with the narrow end of the house facing the street. Two- and Three-story porches, called "piazzas" in Charleston, stretch down the long side of each home. They were designed this way to catch the ocean breeze and to fit deep, narrow in-town lots that were platted when the British first laid out the town.

Another unique feature of a Charleston Single House is that the front door is on the end of porch. Yes, go through the front door from the street and you're on the porch, not inside the house proper. This is because the entrance hall is centered on the side of the house facing the piazza — and the piazza is certainly a room in the hot season in such a climate!

Three classical orders of columns used on the porches here follow historic precedent. It has Doric columns on the ground level, Ionic on the second level and Corinthian on the third.

Here, the three-car garage was placed where the carriage house would have been located. In the day, these carriage houses usually had servants quarters situated upstairs. In this instance, we placed a large bonus room, which the family uses as a media room.

This house also appears on our website at and on the Sweet Bottom Plantation Tour website

Street View from Battery Park