Advocacy Alerts

Charleston’s Historic Neighborhoods added to America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list

preservation-admin , May 9, 2023

A new GIS rendering developed by the PSC shows the stark contrast in massing and height between the proposed Union Pier development and the historic Ansonborough neighborhood.

Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that the threat posed by incompatible development at Union Pier justifies placing Charleston in the national spotlight on its 2023 America’s 11 Most Endangered Places list. This list, released annually since 1988, focuses on urgent threats where community leaders have identified solutions that can result in better outcomes.

In support of the National Trust’s decision, our organizations stand united: There is a better way. As we wrote this week the current developer-led plan proposes building sizes and density that are not remotely compatible with Charleston’s historic built environment. The plan also lacks adequate open space and resilience measures which should be the core focus of any large-scale master plan on the water’s edge.

View looking northwest at the proposed development, with the U.S. Custom House in view to the south and Ansonborough to the west.

Core elements of the plan, such as affordable housing and the proposed public financing structure are not yet known. Having worked together to halt disruptive and environmentally damaging cruise homeport operations, the Coastal Conservation League, Preservation Society of Charleston, and Historic Charleston Foundation continue to collaborate to protect the historic district of Charleston.

Over the next two weeks, our coalition will host three separate events to follow up on our call for a better process and plan for Charleston’s historic waterfront. We invite the entire community concerned about the Union Pier proposal to participate and learn more.

Thursday, May 11, 5:30-7:30 pm: Community Workshop on a Better Way Forward for Union Pier at St. Julian Devine Community Center (1 Cooper St.)
RSVP requested
Hosted by Preservation Society of Charleston

Tuesday, May 16, 6 pm: Environmental Impacts of Union Pier Redevelopment: What We Need to Know
Attend virtually via Zoom by registering now
Hosted by Coastal Conservation League

Thursday, May 18, 6 pm: Union Pier Advocacy Forum at Charleston Museum Auditorium (360 Meeting Street)
Register via HCF website
Hosted by Historic Charleston Foundation

We have worked – and will continue to work – in good faith to press for a community-led vision for the site. And we are grateful to the civic and elected leaders who are asking important questions about this process and the developer-designed plan. Thank you for your ongoing support of our work, and look forward to engaging with you as we envision the way forward on this “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity at Charleston’s crown jewel waterfront.

Brian R. Turner, President & CEO, Preservation Society of Charleston
Winslow Hastie, President & CEO, Historic Charleston Foundation
Faith Rivers James, Executive Director, Coastal Conservation League

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