2 Preservation PROGRESSLETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT,BOARD OF DIRECTORSccGreetings,As the incoming President of the Board ofLois LaneDirectors of the Preservation Society I wasasked to write a letter of introduction to the membership.When I thought about it, this was the perfect opportunity toshare some of my thoughts on the necessity of preservation. Ilike to think of this philosophy as “no house left behind.”Preservation can be stewardship in a sustainable context.Historic buildings represent a major prior investmentof resources and energy. This investment is like moneyalready in the bank. Every new building, on the otherhand, represents a new and additional impact on theenvironment.Here in Charleston, for instance, a perfect example isthe growing interest in repairing and restoring the fineCraftsman style residences in the Westside neighborhoods,Hampton Park Terrace, and the brick bungalows in WagenerTerrace. This contributes to our community’s environmentalsustainability. It is not just about 18th century single housesany more.In 1990, Charleston was the site of the National Trustfor Historic Preservation’s 44th National PreservationConference. One of the outcomes of that meeting was theadoption of specific c goals which became known as TheCharleston Principles.One of these goals seems especially important to me asthe Society faces key decisions during this year and howthese decisions will impact the sustainability of our city.Item #7 of The Charleston Principles bids us to recognizethe cultural diversity of our communities – to acknowledge,identify, and preserve America’s cultural and physicalresources. The health of a city relies on diversity in business,dwellings, recreation, and commerce to sustain itself. Intoday’s parlance, it reminds us to think “green.”Residents need a positive sense of neighborhood, a senseof place. New development must respect the existingsense of place. It should not be intrusive in height or atstreet level, and its design should not negatively impact theecology of the city.Charleston is one of the few cities in the UnitedStates that is truly walkable. New development and cityplanning must not discourage pedestrian traffic. Currently,neighborhood associations are working to reverse decisionsmade over fifty years ago which mandated one waytraffic on a number of our streets. Research now showsthat two-way traffic slows automobile traffic, encouragespedestrian traffic and public transport. In other words, itimproves livability.That’s sustainability. That’s being “green.”PRESIDENT’S LETTERCONTINUED PAGE 162008 BOARD OF DIRECTORS& DIRECTORS EMERITUSEXECUTIVE COMMITTEELois Lane, PresidentRobert Prioleau, First Vice PresidentDebbie Bordeau, Second Vice PresidentSusan Dickson, Recording SecretaryGeorge Smythe, TreasurerSteven Craig, Immediate Past PresidentMEMBERS OF THE BOARDBeau ClowneyWilliam J. CookSusan G. DicksonP. Steven DoppKevin EberleShay EvansRebecca HerresRhondy HuffDiane McCallCaroline RagsdaleSally SmithSteven P. StewartJim WigleyConnie WyrickRutledge Young, IIIDIRECTORS EMERITUS TO THE BOARDElizabeth Jenkins Young, Executive CommitteeJane ThornhillNorman HaftLynn Hanlin, Executive CommitteeSTAFFCynthia Cole Jenkins, Executive DirectorRobert M. Gurley, Assistant DirectorGinger L. Scully, Director, Tours & Special ProgramsLannie E. Kittrell, Preservation Research & Archival ManagerMary Spivey-Just, Business ManagerCynthia Setnicka, Retail Shop ManagerNEWSLETTERWilliam J. Cook, Chairman, Publications CommitteeJ. Michael McLaughlin, EditorKatherine Carey, Production CoordinatorBobby Bostick, Layout & DesignThe Preservation Society of Charleston was founded in 1920with its purpose being to cultivate and encourage interest in thepreservation of buildings, sites and structures of historical oraesthetic significance and to take whatever steps may benecessary and feasible to prevent the destruction or defacementof any such building, site or structure, such purposes beingsoley eleemosynary and not for profit.The Preservation Society of Charleston is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.All contents herein are copyright of the Preservation Society of Charleston.Reprinting is strictly prohibited without written consent.The Preservation Society of CharlestonPost Office Box 521, Charleston, South Carolina 29402Phone: (843) 722-4630 • Fax: (843) 723-4381Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.preservationsociety.orgPrinted on recycled paper with soy based ink.
PRESERVATION IS LOOKING“GREENER” EVERY DAYBy J. Michael McLaughlinPreservation PROGRESS 3Some of us will recall a time when a popular folkgroup called The New Christy Minstrels set America’s feeta’tapping to a hit tune that went, “Green green; it’s greenthey say, on the far side of the hill. Green green; I’m goin’away to where the grass is greener still.” Somebody else said,“What goes around comes around,” and it must be true…because everything these days is going “green” again.This time, however, we wouldall hope it’s happening for thebetterment of our beleagueredplanet. Still, one wonders if inthe rush to be timely and earthfriendly,everything “green” hasto be new, has to be modern, orhas to be au naturale.Preservation Progresstakes a look at what it meansto be “green” in the realm ofpreservation and what we’relearning about the value oflooking at our built environmentfrom an ecological perspective.Last December, RichardMoe, President of the NationalTrust for Historic Preservation,spoke before an august groupof his peers addressing the rolepreservation plays in fighting thewar against climate change.“When you strip away therhetoric,” he said, “preservation issimply having the good sense tohold on to things that are welldesigned,that link us with ourpast in a meaningful way, andthat have plenty of good use leftin them.”Without identifying it as such, Mr. Moe’s remarkshighlighted a glossary of new preservation terminology wellsuitedto today’s infatuation with all things “green.”In its infancy, the preservation movement was primarilyfocused on saving and restoring “iconic buildings.”Preservationist Ann Cunningham’s famous crusade tosave Mount Vernon in the 1850s is the classic example.Here in Charleston, the 1920s rescue of the (1803) JosephManigault House on Meeting Street leaps to mind.By the middle of the 20th century, preservationistsembraced the concept of “economic benefit” and wholedowntowns throughout America were revitalized by theNational Trust’s inspirational Main Street program – andothers similar to it. At stake were the very architectural andhistorical features that give many of our cities and townstheir distinctive identity, their unique “sense of place.”Along with this trend came the recognition thatpreservation is a catalyst forsupporting “social values” as well.Respecting “diversity” became apreservation ethic. Fostering aconnection to our shared past,we found, encourages “stability,continuity,” and “liveability”in neighborhoods – large andsmall. In other words, thepreservation movement provedto be refreshingly dynamic andremarkably adaptable to changewhile it continued to essentiallysave old buildings at risk.Mr. Moe went on to say, “Evenas (the National Trust) openedour arms to save icons of themodernism movement such asthe Philip Johnson’s famous1949 Glass House, the spirit ofour effort is the intrinsic respectfor history and our inseparableconnection to it.” Does thisexample of contemporarypreservation inspire us toreexamine the worth of the1965 L. Mendel Rivers buildingon Meeting Street and itsplace in Charleston’s ongoingarchitectural history?Nowadays, Mr. Moe acknowledges, the byword is “green.”Growing numbers of people worldwide are concernedwith climatic change and the associated degradation ofthe environment. He cites statistics saying Americansconsume an inordinate share of the world’s natural resourcesand energy (creating 22% of the world’s greenhouse gasemissions), and yet we represent only a fraction of theworld’s population (5%).GREEN, GREEN CONTINUED PAGE 17
4 Preservation PROGRESS“New Buildings in Old Places”A MESSAGE FROM H.R.H., THE PRINCE OF WALESEditor’s Note: When the Prince of Wales visited Charleston in 1989, he was already well-known as a critic of currentarchitectural trends being built in England and he was often quoted on the subject in the British press. Almost three decadeslater, his views are still raising eyebrows and making headlines. But his authority on the subject has grown with time and hisbenevolent influence is respected on both sides of the Atlantic. Here, in summary, are remarks he made on January 31, 2008in a speech to the Conference on New Buildings in Old Places at St. James’ Palace in London.At present, our country looks to be in the midst of oneof its periodic building booms, and in an ancient land suchas our own, we cannot help but build the new amongst theold. I can only think of two times in our history where it wasproposed to build homes, workplacesand shops on such a massive scale,and both times it changed the face ofBritain. I am thinking of the Victorianera, when our predecessors built theface of the cities of industrial England,and of the post-war period through tothe end of the 1960s when there was arush to rebuild, knocking down muchthat was old in the process.In the first case, although therewere the inevitable mistakes made,much that was built was of enduringvalue and at least acknowledged thehistorical patterns and identity ofpast generations. In the second, everytime-tested principle and all referenceto an accumulated inheritance in the“grammar”, if you like, of architectureand building were simply thrownout of the window and we have beenliving with the consequences of thisenormously risky experiment eversince.The point about all this is that we simply cannot affordto repeat these mistakes, but this time in a twenty-firstcentury guise. In fact, I would go so far as to say we mustnot repeat such mistakes. We owe it to the people of thiscountry to do infinitely better and that is the purposeof today’s conference: to try to learn from the past, andtake the best ideas forward as we build what will becometomorrow’s heritage today.Much of the new housing is being built within existingbuilt-up areas, and provided in the form of flats in residentialtowers of nine to twenty stories. These towers are generallyopposed by local residents, but loved by “buy to let”investors and planners to add a bit of the “wow” factorto their suburb or town. I therefore hope very much that(we) will address the issue of building housing at greaterdensities in a way that is harmonious with town and cityscapes, with the existing heritage, and with the needs anddesires of local residents.We have endured for too long theprevailing lack of courtesy withinthe public realm and the time has...sustainabilityactually meansbuilding for thelong-term – onehundred years,rather thantwenty yearscome to reinvent “good manners” inthe way we build. We should surelybe asking whether it is a naturalpre-requisite of “being modern” todisplay bad manners? Is it “beingmodern”, for instance, to vandalizethe few remaining relatively unspoilt,beautiful areas of our cities, any morethan it would be “modern” to mugdefenceless elderly people? Can itnot be modern “to do to others as youwould have them do to you?” That’sthe question.So now, taking advantage of thefact that I am nearly sixty, I wouldlike to share a few thoughts with youabout the ways that we can buildnew buildings in old places, distilledfrom nearly twenty years of all thisexperience.• Firstly, recognition that sustainability actually meansbuilding for the long-term – one hundred years, ratherthan twenty years;• Secondly, because of this, it is worth building in anadaptable and flexible manner, reassessing and re-usingexisting buildings wherever possible;• Thirdly, it is worth building in a manner that fits the place,in terms of materials used, proportion and layouts andclimate, ecology and building practices;• Fourthly, it is worth building beautifully, in a mannerthat builds upon tradition, evolving it in response to
Preservation PROGRESS 5present challenges and utilizing present day resourcesand techniques;• And, finally, it is worth understanding the purpose of abuilding, or group of buildings, within the hierarchy of thebuildings around it and responding with an appropriatebuilding type and design. Doing this often implies thecomposition of a harmonious whole, rather than theerection of singular objects of architectural or corporatewill which merely panders to ego-centric imperatives.Such principles, in my experience, tend to create addedsocial and environmental value, as well as commercial value.They apply whether building anew or adapting existingbuildings. We all need to consider the meaning of heritageand recognize that sustainability is achieved by creatingbuildings that people will both want to use, and be able touse efficiently, a hundred years hence.Local distinctiveness shouldflourish and traditional craft skillsshould be re-discovered andincorporated in new buildings aswell as old; so that true and timelessmethods of building are exploitedfor not only the beauty they create,but also the environmental benefitsthey offer.So in those places where moreambitious urban development isappropriate, there are principles ofplanning which, again, can make surenew development is adding value tocommunities in this country. Suchprinciples include well-designedpublic spaces, a mix of shops andservices within walking distance,values of hierarchy, legibility andproportion, integration of highqualityprivate, social and affordablehousing – and by incorporating thesequalities we are applying the lessons tradition teaches usabout how better neighbourhood design improves the livesof those who live in new developments.And while we are talking about principles, let’s justconsider for a moment, if we may, the issue of taller buildingsin our historic towns and cities, In this area I very muchfear we are repeating the mistakes of the 1960s, but doingso with even greater hubris and efficiency!Corporate and residential towers are being proposedacross London, and overshadowing World Heritage sitesfrom Edinburgh to Bath. There is no point at all in havinga World Heritage site unless it retains its unique integrity.There are, after all, other areas where such tall buildingscould be accommodated within their own context. TheFrench have managed it quite well up to now in La Défense,in Paris (but I hear there are even current threats to theintegrity of the historic quarters of Paris from ever taller,deconstructed glass monoliths).For some unaccountable reason we seem to be determinedto vandalize these few remaining sites which retain thekind of human scale and timeless character that so attractpeople to them and which increase in value as time goesby. What is it about our outlook which perpetuates desiredeliberately to desecrate such places? You would think,wouldn’t you, that we might have outgrown this kind ofattitude by now…?Thus, in chasing the corporate tenant or the buy-to-letinvestor, we may not only be destroying our heritage, butkilling the goose that lays the golden egg for we will destroywhat makes our cities and towns so attractive to touristsin the process.Many people believe, erroneously, that the only way toachieve environmental efficiencies in development is bybuilding very tall buildings. Indeed,improving the average density ofbuilding in England is critical toachieving “location efficiency,”which reduces automobile useand greenhouse gas emissions, aswell as minimizing land-take. Butthese efficiencies only begin tooccur at 17 units to the hectare(2.47 acres), when public transportbecomes feasible, and begin to tailoff at densities above 70 units tothe hectare, according to a definitiveresearch study from the UnitedStates.And, if we look at London’sskyline, and compare it, say, to Pariswhere, up to now, building heightsare regulated far more precisely, weare immediately struck by how muchless is protected here than abroad.The current debates about tallbuildings here in London would have been unnecessaryand superfluous in Paris – where tall buildings have beenconcentrated, as I have mentioned earlier, in the urbanquarter of La Défense – outside the historic area which,of course, continues to attract tourists and their spendingpower.And, in Berlin, too, where an immense programme ofreconstruction and regeneration has gone on – larger thanin any other European city – the city leaders have insistedupon rigorous limitations to the height of new buildings.These kinds of approaches can help to achieve a far morecoherent sense of harmony and civic self-confidence thanthe alternative “free-for-all” that will leave London and ourPRINCE OF WALES, CONTINUED PAGE 15
6 Preservation PROGRESS2007 CAROLOPOLISAWARDS PRESENTEDThe 2007 Carolopolis and Pro Merito Awards ceremony,held January 31st at the Charleston Place Riviera Theater,was a great success for the Preservation Society and all inattendance enjoyed the program and reception. Sevenproperties were recognized and their owners acknowledgedfor their hard work, attention to detail, and more importantlyfor being local stewards of historic preservation.The Henry Gerdts House at 13 Pitt Street received aPro Merito award for exterior preservation of the mainhouse, dependency, and garden wall. A Pro Merito awardwas presented to 60 Montagu, the Gaillard-Bennett House,for exterior preservation, exterior restoration of the kitchenhouse, and reconstruction of the tack house. A Carolopoliswas awarded to 39 Legare for exterior preservation of themain house and new construction of a garage and hyphen.Carolopolis awards for exterior rehabilitation were presentedto the dependency buildings at 20 Charlotte Street, theJoseph Aiken House, the Charleston single house at 201Rutledge Avenue, the commercial and residential buildingat 162 Spring Street, and the duplex turned single familyresidence at 3 Elmwood Avenue in Hampton ParkTerrace.The Preservation Society would like to extend its thanksto everyone who participated in the program and to thesponsors, Charleston Place Hotel and Carriage Properties,for helping make this a successful event.The Carolopolis Award program was created in 1953 torecognize outstanding achievement in exterior preservation,restoration, rehabilitation and new construction in the Cityof Charleston. Since 1953, the Preservation Society haspresented 1,309 awards in recognition of such achievement.The Pro Merito, or “For Merit” Award was created in 1999 torecognize those properties that have received a CarolopolisAward not less than 20 years ago and have either undergonea second major renovation or have demonstrated a highlevel of continuous preservation.The Preservation Society is now accepting nominationsfor the 2008 Carolopolis and Pro Merito Awards. Visit ourwebsite www.preservationsociety.org for more informationon the program and to download a nomination form.Nominations should be sent to the Preservation Societyby August 15, 2008. Mark your calendars for the 2008Carolopolis Awards ceremony, scheduled for Thursday,January 29, 2009 at the Charleston Place Riviera Theater.
Preservation PROGRESS 7
8 Preservation PROGRESSMAKINGONEOOLLOW ATBy Katherine CareyA COOL COLOR:AT A TIMECharleston’s reputation for innovative buildingconstruction has not always been universally celebrated inrecent years. New design that incorporates green componentsthat blend well with our city’s majestic homes and theexisting Lowcountry vernacular has been limited, oftenmeriting negative public attention reflected from unsettlingand confrontational planning and zoning and BAR meetings.However, in 2008, Charleston residents are witnessinga raising of the bar – heightened standards for groundbreakingeco-friendly green design. A case in point is aproject known as “One Cool Blow,” a smart growth buildingof modern urban design going up just below Interstate 26on the Charleston peninsula. This example of a new greenproject is trying not only to please our aesthetic eye, butto also better our environment and leave a cleaner earthfor future generations.How did we get here? How did we move from a cityknown for its glittering architectural past to a seriousexample of building “green” for a better future?It did not hurt that The National Trust for HistoricPreservation launched a sustainability initiative in 2006to look beyond preservation of existing structures towardsbetter use of existing structures with a new attitude towardnew construction. Their initiative reflected a statisticshowing 48% of green house gas emission in our countryis the direct result of our built environment.Here in Charleston, we began to look at conceptslike “smart growth, green construction” and “modernurban design” for answers to our burgeoning growth andenvironmental concerns. We learned these were morethan fleeting buzz words; they were tools to take us intoa better future.On one hand, going “green” means taking a fresh lookat every single building of new construction. But on theother hand, we must reevaluate our approach to all newbuildings. And this does not just mean the context in whicha neighborhood is seen, it entails reconsidering the contextin which we select materials for new construction. Fromthe bones of the building to the details of the landscapingwe must now ask what each element offers to those livingwithin the building and those living in the communitywhere it is located.We are an organization with a charge to preserve whatwe have, but the challenge of sustainability incorporatesthat charge to include more. The proof of this can be foundgoing up in the once industrial area along the Cooper Rivernamed for the refreshing breeze that refreshed our swelteringcitizenry in the bygone days before air conditioning.Driving into the city from Mt. Pleasant, the area onceknown as “Cool Blow” gently catches the eye enough towarrant a second glance which poses the mental question:“What’s going on down there?”Rendering of One Cool Blow showcasing the durable materials used on the exterior and carried through to the interior
Standard Precut Walls are designed to withstand 180mph winds. Additionally,they stand up against some of the lowcountrys most fierce maintanceproblems such as mold, insects, rot and fire.Here is what’s going on: Cool Blow is a four storybuilding clad in concrete, glass and copper with mixeduse space below. All signs indicate this new constructionwill function well within its context – something mostpreservationists agree is a key attribute to communitylongevity.As for measuring up in the “green zone,” it is impossibleto deny its “greenness”. No empty promises or surface greenare to be found at One Cool Blow.Give it green points for being a multiple unit buildingwith 785 to 1,175 square feet per unit. Cast another greenvote for precast concrete walls that can sustain hurricaneforce winds. The precast walls are energy efficient,soundproof, and are made of recycled materials. Then thereare bonus green points for using pavers that reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate the heating effect. The greenestof green ideas sits on top of the buildings where a vegetated“green roof” system replaces shingles.The accounting of green accolades continues withinterior bamboo flooring, window placement to takeadvantage of natural lighting, and low VOC’s (volatileorganic compounds) in paints, stains and sealants. All ofOne Cool Blow will be LEED Certified (Leadership in Energy and EnvironmentalDesign) meaning it will significantly reduce any negative enviornmentalimpact associated from the building process to the final product.the landscaping uses native plants that, once established,require less irrigation than non-natives.Is this the kind of thinking that goes into being“green”?Clearly, the answer is a resounding YES. But if we’velearned anything about the role of sustainable architecturein the short time we’ve recognized its importance to thenational and global green movement – it’s that change isthe only thing that endures. Green technology is constantlyimproving and new ideas in building materials and designare becoming practical realities every day. In that sense,Charleston’s resplendent display of architectural diversityis intact and continues to evolve on the cutting edge. Afterall, this is Charleston. And if that’s not preservation at itsbest, who knows what is?One Cool Blow is one of several green projects beingdesigned in Charleston. This article is a reflection of thistimely movement, curiosity of its implementation, and thePreservation Society’s determination to provide its membershipwith appropriate knowledge on this subject as we grow in oursensitivity for the need to be “green”.
10 Preservation PROGRESSCHARLESTONFEDERAL BKNOWING WHEN TOKNOWING WHEN TOIf architectural styles were playing cards, Charleston would be holding a winning handwhen it comes to Federal (in this case – meaning Federal government)) buildings. When youfan them out together, it’s almost a full house of styles reflecting ecting the fashionable trends thathave come and gone (and come back again) in American architecture.Can you name them? Better yet, can you date them? Here’s a quick review of theFederal buildings of Charleston in the order in which they were constructed.L. MENDELRIVERSFEDERALBUILDINGMeeting Street at Marion SquareBuilt as a seven-story office buildingto house the city’s expanding Federalpresence, this is one of Charleston’sbest examples of late 20th centuryarchitecture. Although its constructionincludes many fine and now-costlybuilding materials, it has stood emptysince 1999 when water damage fromHurricane Floyd exposed asbestoscontamination.Answer: Modern, (1965)Photo Credit: Leroy Burnell, Post and Courier
FEDERAL COURT HOUSEAND POST OFFICE83 Broad StreetWhen the earthquake of 1886 destroyedthe existing post office building at thesoutheast corner of Meeting and Broad,the exuberant granite structure thatreplaced it became something of a symbolof Charleston’s recovery from the disaster.Note the truncated tower on the northeastcorner.Answer: Renaissance Revival (1896–97)HOLLINGSJUDICIALCENTER200 East Bay StreetThis Federal building is distinctive forwhat it does NOT do, as much as forwhat it does. While its constructionallowed the city’s legal center to remainin downtown Charleston, this design didnot impose a major architectural changeto the traditional “Four Corners of Law.”It did not overwhelm its surroundingneighbors in height, scale nor mass. And itscontemporary lines harmonized with thehistorical neighborhood.Answer: Contextual Post Modern, 1987UNITEDSTATESCUSTOMHOUSE200 East Bay StreetThis is Charleston’s only Federal buildingconstructed in this style – used widelyelsewhere in the city and in Washington,D.C. Originally intended to feature alarge dome and four impressive porticoes,construction of this building wasinterrupted and downscaled due to theCivil War.Answer: Classic Revival (1849-79)
12 Preservation PROGRESSNEW PRESERVATION EASEMENTSDONATED IN 2007Seven preservation easements were donated to The Preservation Society ofCharleston in 2007. The Preservation Society has been accepting preservationeasements since 1978. In addition to these seven exterior preservation easements,three of the property owners also donated interior easements on their property. ThePreservation Society is proud to announce the following preservation easementsdonated in 2007:18 South Adger’s Wharf20 New Street45 Church Street(exterior and interior)47 Church Street(exterior and interior)9 Orange Street(exterior and interior)43 Charlotte Street26 Lamboll StreetThe Preservation Society currently holds over 78exterior easements including 11 interior easements.A preservation easement is a legal agreementbetween a property owner and a qualified easementholding organization that protects the architecturalintegrity of a property in perpetuity. Preservationeasements protect the property from alterations andchanges in use or density of a property, requiring theapproval of the easement holding organization. Ifcertain criteria are met the property owner can receivea Federal tax deduction. To qualify for a tax deduction,the property must be considered a “certified historicstructure,” defined by the IRS as either individuallylisted in the National Register of Historic Places, orlocated in and contributing to a National Registerof Historic Places-listed historic district. If you areinterested in the preservation easement program,contact Robert Gurley, Assistant Director, at (843)722-4630, fax (843) 723-4381, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 Preservation PROGRESSHARLAN GREENE’S SPRING LECTURE IS A LITERARYTOUR OF HISTORIC PLACESThe Preservation Society’s March 20th Spring Lecture andReception was a delightful test of members’ recall about the HolyCity’s rich literary history. Harlan Greene, well-known local authorand current Project Archivist for the Avery Research Center forAfrican-American History & Culture, led the audio-visual tourfrom the podium at the Charleston Museum.His lecture was titled “Porgy Lived Here: Fictional Charactersand the Real Places They Lived.” It visited the streets and houseswhere the extraordinary and timeless characters of Charlestonbasedfiction lived. While these characters sprang from the creativepens of DuBose Heyward, Josephine Pinckney and many otherwriters – the addresses and settings for their stories were and arevery real. Some were well-known; others were more obscure.- Where did Porgy and Bess live?- Where did the Redcliffe’s have their Three O’Clock Dinner?- Which house did the Devil visit in Great Mischief”?- What sites did Owen Wister use when creating the Western?- Which downtown house was the site of a murder mystery?- What character from a Nobel Prize winning author’s book visited a house on the Battery?These and other riddles made for a fascinating glimpse into the literary heritage of Charleston. No doubt the lecturesent more than a few members back to their collections of Charleston-based books to revisit old friends who haveentertained us well in the past.
PRINCE OF WALES, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5Preservation PROGRESS 15other cities with a pockmarked skyline. disfiguring preciousviews and disinheriting future generations of Londoners.To seek to protect historic views and vantage points, andoppose the planning of random new towers – for perhapsthey would be better described as “vertical Cul-de-Sacs”or “Network Congestors”! – is not, I believe, synonymouswith supporting what some have rather disparagingly calleda “museum city.”It is certainly legitimate to ask, I would have thought, howit can be considered sensible, or indeed rational, to implantsuch “congestors” into a network of streets which weredesigned to function with two to three storey buildings.So, the key point I want to make is that I am not opposedto all tall buildings. My concern is that they should beconsidered in their context; in other words, they shouldbe put where they fit properly. If new vertical cul-de-sacsare to be built, then it seems self-evident to me that theyshould stand together to establish a new skyline, and notcompete with or confuse what is currently there – as hasalready happened to a depressing and disastrous extent.If clustered, then the virtue of height becomes somethingthat can, in the hands of creative architects, be trulycelebrated. This solution, so clearly the case in Manhattanor La Défense in Paris, requires locations where intrusioninto historically protected views, either at height or at streetlevel, can be avoided, and is, therefore, difficult to justifyin places such as the City of London where the pressureto build at height is often greatest.There is a very real and urgent risk looming over usthat in the drive to make historic cities like London andEdinburgh “world cities” in the commercial sense, we simplymake them more like every other city in the world and inso doing dishonour and discredit their status, character andlocal distinctiveness.In “A Vision of Britain,” I suggested that the impact ofnew buildings could be softened by an acceptance of theexisting street rhythms and plot sizes. The buildings in acity such as London, Edinburgh or even Bath or Ealing arethe individual brushstrokes of a grand composition, whichworks because all the participants understood the basic rulesand “grammar,” with harmony being the pleasing result.This lesson is, I believe, still as relevant today as it was inthe Enlightenment, when builders sought to remake theircities to compete on a new stage.For the past sixty years or so we have been conductingan experiment in social and environmental engineeringthat has gone disastrously wrong. Is it not time to say, inthe words of William Cowper – that “Here the heart maygive a useful lesson to the head, and learning wiser growwithout his books?”
16 Preservation PROGRESSPRESIDENT’S LETTER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1For me, the most exciting recipient of this years’Carolopolis Award was 162 Spring Street. Built in the1880s, this two-story frame single house operated as abarber shop since the 1950s. This is a great example of ahistoric building being altered to meet the changing needsof a given neighborhood. This alteration provided economicsustainability and contributed to the neighborhood’spreservation. Sometimes, old buildings need new ideasand new ideas can use old buildings. Thinking “green” aspreservationists means we are not locked in time.Speaking of time, I am looking forward to a great yearfor the Preservation Society. Thank you for joining me onthis exciting journey.Lois LanePresident, Board of DirectorsPreservation Society of Charleston
GREEN, GREEN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3Preservation PROGRESS 17Once again, preservation has a key role to play in theeffort to correct this imbalance. Mr. Moe says our newchallenge is to strive for “sustainability.” There was a timewhen most of the blame was focused on auto emissions. ButEPA studies now indicate that cars, trucks, trains and aircraftaccount for only 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions;that 48% (nearly double that amount) is produced by theconstruction and operation of buildings. Globally, 10% ofthe entire world’s greenhouse gas problems come fromAmerica’s buildings!Mr. Moe isn’t saying preservation is the key to solvingAmerica’s environmental crisis. But he does believe thatsustainable development is an important step in the rightdirection. He says “Preservation is the ultimate recycling,”He points out that the connection between sustainabilityand historic preservation isn’t even new.“The iconic poster of the old building in the shape of agas can dates back more than a quarter century. It was theNational Trust’s Preservation Week poster for 1980.” Today,the problem is far more widespread. Waiting for somebodyto “fix it” won’t work any more; that we need to realize the“somebody.” Mr. Moe explains, “is us.”We need to think of old buildings as repositories ofenergy; the accumulated bank account (of energy) spent tomanufacture or extract the building’s raw materials; plus theenergy spent to assemble those materials into a structure.When that building is demolished and its components sentto a landfill, all that accrued energy along with what is spenttearing it down is wasted. Add on the cost of constructing anew building to take its place and the total energy outlay isstaggering. The bottom line is – if we can’t afford to buildour way out of this predicament, we need to conserve ourway out. We need to make better, wiser use of what we’vealready builtOf course not every old building can be saved or reused,nor was every old building intended to last into perpetuity.This is especially true of too many of the buildings we’reputting up today. This is where our use of advocacy is soimportant. Shoddy materials and short-term thinking mayseem like viable solutions when budgets are tight; but partof our job is to think in terms of the long run. We needto consider this in ALL new buildings – even utilitarianstructures like warehouses, factories and parking garages.The Brookings Institute reports that by 2030, Americawill have demolished and replaced 82 billion square feet (orabout a third) of our current building stock. This is largelybecause a vast majority of these buildings weren’t designedto last in the first place. Doesn’t this amount to a deliberatewaste of our resources on just about every level? Isn’t ittime to rethink our built environment and be “greener” inthe choices we make?Alas, it seems poor Kermit the Frog may have missedthe point. It is easy “being green.” First, you have to look –really look – and see – really see -- what’s already there.
18 Preservation PROGRESSGLENN KEYES IS NAMED SOUTH CAROLINA’SADVISOR TO THE NATIONAL TRUSTGlenn F. Keyes has been named as oneof the two South Carolina advisors to theNational Trust for Historic Preservation.Previous Lowcountry advisors haveincluded Ms. Vanessa Turner Maybank,Mr & Mrs. Joseph H. McGhee, Mr.Charles H. P. Duell and Mrs. BrantleyHarvey, Jr. of Beaufort. This prestigioushonor is a reflection of Mr. Keyes’ keeninterest in the cause of preservation andhis accomplishments in a remarkablecareer in architectural preservationto date. His resume includes serviceto many of America’s most iconicstructures – including historic churches,commercial buildings, museum houses, aswell as private residences. He is a former Board of DirectorsPresident of The Preservation Society and recipient of theprestigious National Preservation Honor Award given bythe National Trust for Historic Preservation.“We are honored that Glenn Keyesagreed to serve as Advisor for SouthCarolina,” said John Hildreth, Director ofthe National Trust’s Southern RegionalOffice. “He has incredible credentials,a passion for historic preservationand a willingness to share his timeand expertise to further the cause ofpreservation.”Mr. Keyes earned his undergraduatedegree in Architecture at the Universityof Tennessee (1977) and his Masterof Arts degree in Architecture at theUniversity of Florida (1982) where hisspecialization was Historic Preservation.He is a member of the AmericanInstitute of Architects, the Association for PreservationTechnology, the National Trust for Historic Preservation,as well as the Preservation Society of Charleston.
Preservation PROGRESSFOR THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF CHARLESTONP.O. Box 521Charleston, South Carolina 29402(843) 722-4630 • Fax (843) 723-4381www.preservationsociety.orgNon-ProfitOrganizationU.S. PostagePAIDCharleston, SCPermit No. 1037Mission of The Preservation Society of CharlestonFOUNDED IN 1920To inspire the involvement of all who dwell in the Lowcountryto honor and respect our material and cultural heritage.