Press Releases

Preservation Society awarded grant to develop climate resilience guidelines for historic properties

preservation-admin , March 10, 2023

Downtown Charleston flooding after Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture photo

For Immediate Release:
Sam Spence | 843.722.4630 ext. 23 |

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – The Preservation Society has been awarded a grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the Moe Family Fund for Statewide and Local Partners program to support the development of Climate Resilience Guidelines for Historic Properties in Charleston. This program encourages preservation organizations to envision and test creative breakthrough strategies that are impactful and replicable, and this particular grant was given in the category of “sustainability and climate action.” The Preservation Society is one of seven organizations nationwide in the most recent round of grant awards.

While Charleston is one of the most unique and best-preserved historic cities in the nation, it is also at risk due to increasing flooding events and sea level rise. Historic property owners in Charleston are on the front lines of devising adaptation strategies for these changing climate conditions. The Preservation Society works to support innovative policies to enhance the collective resilience of the built environment and give residents better tools to address impacts of rising water.

The intent of the Climate Resilience Guideline project is to outline best practices for enhancing the resilience of existing properties, with an emphasis on historic buildings, and provide a clear path for project implementation. Facilitated by a consultant, the project will be done in collaboration with the City of Charleston and Clemson University, and will include a robust stakeholder engagement process. Ultimately, the guidelines will serve as a comprehensive, user-friendly resource to inform everyday decision making on appropriate adaptation options and how to navigate the city approval process.

“We aim to empower historic property owners to undertake sensitive adaptations for changing climate conditions, in support of the long-term preservation of Charleston’s built environment and better livability for residents,” said Erin Minnigan, Director of Preservation & Planning of the Preservation Society. “Arming people with the information they need to confidently pursue sustainability upgrades will help build our city’s collective resilience.”

President and CEO of the Preservation Society, Brian Turner, said: “The Preservation Society champions citizen efforts to creatively address issues with rising water. Work already being done by residents on the front line are helping make Charleston more resilient for generations to come, and can serve as a model for future adaptation efforts. As we develop the Climate Resilience Guidelines, we will seek to highlight these heroes of resilience and integrate some of the project successes that speak to Charleston’s unique environment.”

The Preservation Society is accepting proposals through April 14, 2023, for consultant services to support development of the Climate Resilience Guidelines. The Request for Proposals is available on the Preservation Society website, where you can also learn more about the project scope.


About the Preservation Society: Founded in 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) is the oldest grassroots preservation organization in the nation. The Society is more resilient than ever as it enters its second century of recognizing, protecting, and advocating for the Lowcountry’s historic places, while serving as a strong advocacy leader for citizens looking to preserve Charleston’s distinctive character, quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods.


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