We all know King Street, where parking is like trying to fit 10 pounds of grits into a five pound bag. On any given day, you can spot locals heading to a coffee date, dogs trotting happily by their owners, and visitors eyeing window displays. 🚶
But there’s much more to this bustling design + shopping district than meets the eye. We love learning about our city — especially the historic streets that get us from A to B in style — so we rounded up trivia about Charleston’s famous route.
Here are seven fun facts about King Street:
- King Street was named after King Charles II of England. Charles Towne, established in 1670, was also named in honor of the king.
- There are sites from the National Register of Historic Places on King Street, including the Radcliffe-Aimar Building at 409 King St. and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 405 King St.
- King Street was previously known as The Broad Path, the High Way, and The Broad Road.
- It may be Charleston’s main corridor, but King Street is not the city’s actual Main Street — which crosses the West Ashley Bikeway. See it on the map.
- Its history spans over 300 years, and it is one of the most historically + architecturally important roads in the city.
- In the 1950s, Upper King became a one-way street due to the popularity of shopping in the area. In 1994, it was converted back into a two-way road.
- The street underwent a revival in the 1980s, including the construction of Charleston Place Hotel. Today, the hotel is owned by local billionaire Ben Navarro.