Charleston’s West Side is home to three nationally recognized historic districts; Elk City, Luna Park, and Edgewood. Combined, these districts house 643 contributing residential and commercial buildings.
Elk City Historic District
Elk City was an independent municipality, just west of the Elk River, existing from 1891-1895. The area was eventually annexed by the City of Charleston and grew to become was is now referred to as the West Side. The business district is composed of mostly late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings with the bulk of them being located along W Washington Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Ohio Avenue. Due to a recent boom in private and public investment the Elk City Historic District is experiencing a resurgence. Once vacant storefronts are now filling up with a variety of retail, dining, personal, and professional service businesses.
Edgewood Historic District
Edgewood was the first planned suburb in Charleston. Development of the area began at the turn of the century. Prior to that time the land was wooded and used for grazing. From the beginning, the area was strictly residential. This remains true today, with the exception of the Edgewood Country Club and the Municipal Park with its golf course, both of which lie beyond the historic district’s borders although within the larger area known in Charleston as Edgewood.
Luna Park Historic District
This now residential neighborhood sits on what was once the home of the Luna Park amusement park. Open to the public from 1912 until 1923, the park was a popular destination that featured a roller coaster, dance pavilion, public swimming pool, roller rink, and live entertainment. Street cars and steamboats carried passengers to the and from the park at a rate of about 1,200 people an hour.
A diversity of house and building types and construction methods are found throughout the Luna Park area. All of which typically represent construction methods, building types, and architectural styles popular during the early decades of the twentieth century. Among the varied styles found in Luna Park are the American Foursquare, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and Colonial Revival, including Dutch Colonial Revival.