National Register of Historic Places Explained
preservation-admin , February 11, 2022
The PSC has long advocated for expansion of Charleston’s National Register Historic District as an important preservation tool. This week, the Post & Courier published an editorial in strong support of this goal. PSC Director of Preservation, Erin Minnigan, is quoted in the article, explaining the value of recognizing more of Charleston’s neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places:
“The Charleston Historic District was designated early on the National Register in 1966 with multiple boundary increases over the subsequent decades, yet is still limited to the southern portion of the peninsula, predominately below Calhoun Street, leaving many of our historic neighborhoods outside of the boundaries and unrecognized. We have taken steps locally to recognize the importance of these neighborhoods, and brought them under BAR purview in varying degrees, but have not pursued their designation on the National Register. Taking this step would convey they are as equally worthy of preservation as our neighborhoods on the south peninsula, and provide access to the tax incentives that would make the preservation projects expected from these neighborhoods more possible.”
The National Register is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation, and the primary purpose of a site’s designation is to honor its history, and elevate its significance to the national level. However, expanding National Register designation in Charleston would offer many additional benefits – from providing owners access to tax credits for preservation projects, to combating demolition by neglect, to documenting a fuller picture of Charleston’s history, including contributions of underrepresented communities. Further, it is important to note that a National Register listing places no regulatory restrictions on what an owner may do with their property.
The PSC commends the Post & Courier for shining a light on this important endeavor as we actively seek to work with our community partners to recognize more of our architectural heritage on the National Register. You can learn more about the National Register of Historic Places on the PSC’s website.