Advocacy Update: George Street Proposal Denied
preservation-admin , March 10, 2022
Left: rendering of proposed building at 29-35 George Street; Right: rendering of proposed building at 84-88 Society Street. Source: March 9, 2022 BAR-L Image Overview
Last night, the Board of Architectural Review-Large resoundingly denied the proposal for two new buildings on the George Street Parking lot site. The project was generally considered to be incompatible and foreign to its context and Charleston as a whole. The Preservation Society delivered effective comments, which were echoed by City Staff and Board members. Key issues include the incongruities of the highly contemporary design of the George Street building with the area’s historic character, and the Society Street building’s defiance of “building tectonics,” i.e. how the building gets heavier and wider as it goes up.
Located in the heart of the historic district, directly adjacent to Lower King Street, this is one of the most sensitive sites to seek redevelopment in recent history. We applaud the BAR for standing firm against inappropriate proposals and demanding better for Charleston. As the motion was delivered, the Board made the message clear: a denial means the applicant should start from a blank slate and return with a fundamentally different approach. We can anticipate this project to return in the future, and hope to see a full restudy of the design that better responds to the scale and character of the context – stay tuned.