Byrnes Downs homes have history! The Victory House Corporation was run by Vincent Chicco and Leonard L. Long. Chicco’s dad was Vincent Chicco, the famous barkeep during the Prohibition era. Hidden bars in downtown Charleston would sell admission to see a “blind tiger,” but instead of seeing the fictional creature, patrons would receive a drink. Chicco became famous after being arrested four times, and he was later appointed to City Counsel! Chicco Jr. used his father’s fame to help him because a successful real estate developer.
The first home was complete in April 1945 and was built by the Long Construction Company. The neighborhood was developed to provide rental homes for those who worked at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Once World War II ended, the company sold the homes to veterans. Upon completion, the neighborhood contained 374 homes, and the average listing price was $6,500.
Homes were built with different colors and textures of brick. Supposedly, every eighth house was built with leftover materials from the other homes. These homes were painted to mask the differences in bricks. They can still be seen today in the Byrnes Downs neighborhood.
Right next to the Byrnes Downs neighborhood is the St. Andrews Shopping Center, where residents can find conveniences such as Harris Teeter, Petco Animal Supplies, Bank of America, and a Firestone Auto Care Center right across the street. They also offer Starbucks, A1 China Super Buffet, Jason’s Deli, Hubee D’s, Your Pie, and East Bay Deli as dining options. Other shops include Wonder Works, West Marine, Tuesday Morning, Stein Mart, Mattress Firm, and AT&T. The St. Andrews Shopping Center provides services such as Diamond Nail & Spa, Orangetheory Fitness, and Mooney’s Barber Shop. Within a 2 mile radius, residents of Byrnes Downs, Avondale, Moreland, and Windermere can find St. Andrews Shopping Center, Avondale Business District, and South Windermere Shopping Center. What more could you want in your backyard?