Press Releases

Preservation Society engages national firm to develop climate resilience guidelines

preservation-admin , June 23, 2023


Sam Spence | 843.722.4630 ext. 23 |

The Preservation Society of Charleston is set to launch this summer the project to develop the city’s first Climate Resilience Guidelines for Historic Properties in collaboration with Preservation Design Partnership.

Building on a century-long legacy, the Preservation Society (PSC) is continuing work to support innovative policies to enhance the collective resilience of the built environment and give residents better tools to address impacts of rising water. Toward this goal, the PSC 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. The intent of the guidelines is to outline best practices for enhancing the resilience of existing properties citywide, with an emphasis on historic buildings, and provide a clear path for project implementation.

The PSC is excited to announce Preservation Design Partnership, LLC (PDP) as the consultant to lead the Climate Resilience Guidelines project. Based in Philadelphia, PDP is a nationally recognized firm with over 25 years of practice in heritage planning and design. In recent years, its work has focused on creating planning tools that address flood resilience and mitigation for historic properties. PDP has compiled pioneering policies including, Flood Mitigation Guidelines for Historic Residences in St. Augustine, Florida, Flood Mitigation Guidance and Elevation Design Guidelines for Historic Properties in New Jersey, and Storm Guidance for Historic Properties in Florida.

Preservation Design Partnership consultants visited Charleston this week to research frequent flooding conditions downtown and off-peninsula (Credit: Preservation Society of Charleston)

“The Preservation Society is thrilled to partner with Preservation Design Partnership on the Climate Resilience Guidelines project. PDP brings a wealth of experience to the table and is well-versed in helping historic communities plan for a more resilient future. Given our goal to create a useful resource for residents citywide to navigate appropriate adaptation options, we feel fortunate to be working with a consultant of this caliber that we feel confident will deliver a top-quality guideline product,” said Erin Minnigan, Director of Preservation & Planning of the Preservation Society.

On being selected to lead the development of the Climate Resilience Guidelines, Partner and Managing Principal of Preservation Design Partnership, Dominique M. Hawkins, AIA, LEED AP, said: “Preservation Design Partnership appreciates the unique challenge in addressing adaptation in a city as rich and diverse as Charleston. We look forward to working with the Preservation Society, the City, and its residents to develop a menu of strategies to assist property owners and tenants to incorporate climate resilience into the long-term preservation of the city’s landmark heritage.”

The guidelines will aim to empower property owners citywide to pursue sensitive, adaptations for changing climate conditions, in support of long-term preservation of Charleston’s built environment and livability for residents. The project is being done in partnership with the City of Charleston and Clemson University, with the ultimate goal of creating a user-friendly resource to inform everyday decision making on how to design and implement resilience projects in the city.

Development of the guidelines will be a yearlong process and include a detailed study of Charleston’s unique architectural typologies and flooding conditions. Additionally, there will be opportunities for public involvement in the project later this year. Stay tuned to learn more as the guidelines take shape, and visit the PSC website to read more about the project.


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. For more information on the Preservation Society of Charleston, please visit

Share on Social Media