The French Quarter is a well-known section of downtown Charleston, characterized by its cobblestone streets, lovely alleys and gardens, unique historic homes, and old world charm. It is considered to be bounded by the Cooper River on the East, Broad Street on the South, Meeting Street on the West, and Market Street on the North. The French Quarter acquired its name due to the high concentration of French Huguenots and merchants living in the area. It is located within the area that composed of the original colonial walled city. You can admire the oldest surviving structure in Charleston, the Powder Magazine Museum, on Cumberland Street.
The French Quarter lacks no charm with its eclectic urban mix of fabulously renovated warehouses, pre-Revolutionary buildings, and residential homes. The residents live among art galleries, world-class restaurants, churches, and historic performing art centers. The famous Dock Street Theatre is located here, and is arguably the first site of theatrical productions in the United States. Just down the street is the French Huguenot Church, which boasts exquisite gothic style architecture and is not to be missed. An active community of Huguenots fill the church weekly to worship in this building, which is the only French Huguenot Church in the nation.
This desirable district of Charleston is culturally thriving and always offering activities. The Spoleto Festival USA, a comprehensive seventeen-day art festival held in the spring, has strong influence on the French Quarter due to the high concentration of art galleries and performance venues. Most notable is the Dock Street Theatre, but the Footlight Players also call the French Quarter home with their warehouse turned theatre on Queen Street. Visitors and residents alike often participate in evening art walks to participate in the local art scene and admire the beautiful architecture and historic cobblestone streets.