Preservation Parlance: Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction

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When Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 50 years ago, it affirmed historic preservation’s importance to the United States’ cultural, environmental, and economic well-being. The passing of the NHPA also formed an official framework for what had previously been a largely informal activity, taken up in grassroots efforts like those seen in Charleston in the 1920s and 1930s. The NHPA charged the Secretary of the Interior (SOI) with establishing professional standards for preserving historic properties and created the Section 106 process, among other programs.

Every profession has its jargon, and from the NHPA comes a complexity of terminology, which can, at times, make historic preservation and its processes inaccessible. With May being Preservation Month, let’s clarify some of the ambiguous aspects of preservation parlance. Continue reading

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Irish in Charleston

saint michaels 1861

Saint Michael’s Church in 1861 (via loc.gov)

Article edited August 1, 2017 re: James Hoban and footnote number 12.

One reason Charleston’s history is so alluring is that it is multi-layered, complex, and flavored with the diversity of several ethnic, cultural, and religious groups. In the late-17th century, inhabitants of the nascent colony included Africans, West Indians, Sephardic Jews from Portugal and Spain, Scots, French Huguenots, Germans, Dutch, Irish, and of course English.[1] All of these groups have left their mark on the city in one way or another, but in the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day, of particular focus here is the contribution of Irish and Irish-Americans to Charleston’s built environment. Continue reading

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Black Craftsmen and the Built Environment

AA craftsmen

Image from the 2008 City of Charleston Preservation Plan

The Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance is dedicated to recognizing and promoting significant sites and places in Charleston related to African American history. As Black History Month comes to a close, it is an apt time to highlight the considerable influence African and African American labor has had on the city, specifically its built environment. While the preservation movement’s policies and outcomes contributed to the current state of the Peninsula’s celebrated urban fabric, the skilled hands of predominantly black artisans were integral to the original creation of that fabric, the preservation movement itself, and the resultant building stock. Continue reading

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Visitor Accommodations on the Peninsula

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One corollary to the ever-ascending Charleston brand is the steady influx of visitors coming to stay in the city and experience its culture, ambiance, cuisine, and natural beauty. As a result, there continues to be requests for new hotel accommodations. While a moderate uptick of hotel rooms is to be expected with Charleston’s rising popularity as a vacation destination, the Board of Zoning Appeals – Zoning (BZAZ) meeting on February 2, 2016 saw the approval of four hotels totaling 200 rooms, an unprecedented increase in such a short time. Continue reading

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Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings

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The historic rainfall and flooding in the first few days of October have greatly impacted many in the community and beyond. We sincerely hope you and your family have weathered the storm without damage to your house or place of business. However, if your property has sustained damage, or if you have questions or concerns about how to properly care for your affected property, please contact us by phone – 843.722.4630 – or by email – tcondo@preservationsociety.org.

In addition, we would like to share a resource with you in response to this week’s flooding. Please refer to “Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Properties” from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

By Tim Condo, Manager of Preservation Initiatives

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Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

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Over the past few years there has been no shortage of media coverage of the State Ports Authority’s (SPA) proposed expansion of Union Pier Terminal and its cruise operations, as well as the resultant litigation. Followers of the issue have undoubtedly come across the term “Section 106 Review” in the ongoing narrative, but what is it exactly?  Continue reading

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Section 54-206(a) of the Charleston Zoning Ordinance

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Municipal zoning codes are generally ponderous documents. The legalese and technical jargon can be overwhelming, but having even a basic familiarity with zoning ordinances is critical to understanding how and why a city takes its physical form. PSC is here to help make sense of the Charleston Zoning Ordinance for you. Continue reading

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Sergeant Jasper

Jasper pic 1 for brief

The timeline of the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper parcel is convoluted and lengthy. Unless you have been tracking it diligently, it would be easy not to have the complete picture of what has happened. For your convenience, here are the highlights:   Continue reading

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