295 Calhoun

Aerial view of 295 Calhoun site

In fall 2021, a Georgia-based owner appealed the Board of Architectural Review’s denial of a design for an 8-story, mixed-use, residential building at 295 Calhoun Street. The applicant’s request for conceptual approval was twice denied based on inappropriate height, scale, mass, and architectural direction. Having strongly supported the BAR’s denial, the Preservation Society was unsettled by the applicant’s effort to subvert the public review process by seeking a closed-door settlement.

Conceptual design for 295 Calhoun Street, denied by the BAR-L in August 2021

After unsuccessful mediation, the project returned to the Board of Architectural Review in late 2022, ultimately being denied a third time. Shortly after the project’s latest denial, the developer again filed a lawsuit against the City of Charleston and the Board of Architectural Review.

While the PSC may not always agree with BAR decisions, its authority is fundamental to why Charleston continues to be one of the best-preserved and unique historic cities in the country. As Charleston becomes an increasingly desirable place to live and invest in, the BAR has come under tremendous pressure as development explodes across the peninsula. The PSC stands firmly behind the authority of the BAR and will be pressing the City to defend the Board’s ability to turn down inappropriate proposals, especially as the 295 Calhoun case progresses.


Charleston Board of Architectural Review