Rainbow Row was built in the mid 18th century on 83-107 East Bay Street. To begin with, this was a commerce center on Charleston's waterfront, built to serve the wharfs and docks of the very vibrant and busy Port of Charleston. Merchants worked in their stores on the first floor and called the top floors home.
Unfortunately, conditions here severely deteriorated after the Civil War. The area became slum-like and the homes were in disrepair. In the early part of the 20th century a woman named Dorothy Porcher Legge purchased the homes on 99-101 East Bay Street and began to renovate them. She painted this row of homes pastel pink, for the popular colonial Caribbean color scheme. Eventually other homes in the row were purchased and renovated and their owners followed her example, painting the homes in different shades of pastel colors.