Just southwest of downtown Charleston across the Ashley River lie the neighborhoods of West Ashley. In 1663 this area, known then as St Andrews Parish, was granted to the eight Lord Proprietors by King Charles I of England. These Lord Proprietors’ names now identify many rivers, counties, towns, and streets around the Lowcountry. The Byrnes Down neighborhood shares this rich history with the streets bearing the names of SC State Governors whose tenures date back within ten years of the original King’s grant. Colleton, Campbell, Yeamans, Nicholson, Lyttleton, Southel, Broughton, Ludwell and Tynte were all state governors from 1672 to 1775.
The Byrnes Downs neighborhood was named in honor of James F. Byrnes a native Charlestonian and secretary of state under President Harry Truman during the turbulent World War II years. Byrnes was later governor of SC from 1951 to 1955.
In the early to mid-1940s, developers created Byrnes Down out of cabbage fields and built about 370 two and three bedroom brick bungalows there. As many of the Greatest Generation veterans made their way back from World War II and all parts of the globe, they married, bought “modern” homes here, planted gardens, and raised their families here.
Today, the seedlings planted in the ‘40s grew into stately Oaks that shade the streets and homes of Byrnes Down. This location is a short ten minute drive to all of the culture and excitement of downtown Charleston. For those who work at MUSC, the VA or anywhere downtown, this neighborhood is ideal. Plenty of restaurants/bars, grocery stores, bakeries, and all manner of services are also within walking distance in West Ashley. If you get your workout on a bike or in your walking shoes, you will absolutely love the 8.25 mile West Ashley Greenway which cuts right through the neighborhood. It’s all about a fabulous location!
A diverse population calls Byrnes Down home; residents range from the Greatest Generation to young families and professionals who have moved in to renovate and update these small well-built cottages. Most of the homes have been improved over time to include updated features and reconfigured floor plans to suit a newer lifestyle. Finding home here still in need of updating is rare these days; the good DIYs are few and far between. 44 Colleton Drive is one of these rare gems!