One of the most photographed sections of Charleston is East Bay Street along the waterfront; affectionately known as “Rainbow Row.” The thirteen colorful historic homes that comprise Rainbow Row represent the largest cluster of Row Georgian houses in the United States. Its name derives from the pastel colors the houses were painted after restoration work in the 1930’s. Most of these homes were built in the early to late 1700’s and originally fronted directly on the Cooper River (later land reclamation efforts filled in a portion of the Cooper River waterfront, pushing this neighborhood back a street). Merchants that built these houses, had shops on the ground floor with living quarters above on the second and third floors. At the time of construction, most of the houses had no interior access between floors - only exterior stairs in the back of the buildings. In 1778, a fire destroyed most of the neighborhood. Following the Civil War, the area deteriorated further into near slum conditions. Susan Pringle Frost (founder of the Society for Preservation of Old Buildings) bought six of the homes in 1920 with plans to restore them. However, she ran out of funds before completing this project. By 1931, Dorothy Haskell Porcher Legge purchased several of the houses and began refurbishing them. She painted her houses pink “...based on a colonial Caribbean color scheme.” Other owners soon followed suit with similar colors believing these would help keep the buildings cool during the summer. By 1945, most had been completely restored. Today, this neighborhood is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston.
Lewis Dutarque built the house on 105 East Bay St. in 1778. Italian immigrant Giovanni Guida bought it in 1784 and added an iron Victorian store front.