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Charleston Placed on Watch Status by National Trust for Historic Preservation

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - In January, the Preservation Society of Charleston nominated Charleston to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered List. As an official Local Partner of the National Trust, we felt that the involvement of the National Trust on the issue of cruise tourism and its impacts on historic port cities was important, particularly because the means by which preservation issues are handled in Charleston often set the standard for management and regulation in other communities across the country.

Today, the National Trust announced its 11 Most Endangered list for 2011, and they have created a "Watch Status" category for Charleston. An excerpt from a letter this morning from Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust, summarizes the intent of the National Trust on this issue:

As you read through the list, you will see that we have taken the dramatic step this year of creating a "Watch Status" category and have made the difficult decision to place the City of Charleston on "Watch Status." Many of you know that cruise ship tourism in Charleston has grown steadily over the past decade; the attendant impacts, coupled with the threat of unmanaged and increasing cruise ship activity, pose a danger to the historic resources in the city's National Historic Landmark district. We decided to move forward with the "Watch Status" listing because we want to strike a balance between honoring the past preservation work that has made Charleston a national treasure while also signaling ourvery real concern about the impacts of unmanaged cruise ship activity. Our position at the Trust is that it is insufficient simply to point out the problem, and we believe that "Watch Status" will put us in a stronger position to work with the City and preservation partners in a positive and proactive way to reach a balanced and constructive solution. We are hopeful that such a solution can be found, and will dedicate both staff and financial resources toward that goal.

You can view the complete list at the National Trust's website: 11 MOST ENDANGERED

We look forward to partnering with the National Trust and Historic Charleston Foundation on a cruise tourism impact study that will provide additional data about the industry and its effects on our city. We look forward to working with the National Trust on community outreach efforts. Our goal is to maintain the delicate balance between residential quality of life and the quality of experience for our visitors. We support our maritime industry and our port, and cruise ships can benefit Charleston if they are managed and regulated responsibly.

Please consider contributing to this effort through our dedicated Cruise Control Fund. We appreciate your continued support for preservation.


For information contact: Evan Thompson at (843) 722-4630, www.preservationsociety.org or Email: ethompson@preservationsociety.org

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The Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest community-based membership historic preservation organization in the United States of America. Founded in the 1920’s, the society celebrates over 90 years of preserving and protecting the heritage and architecture of South Carolina’s oldest city. The Society uses the proceeds from these tours to further its work in preservation education, advocacy and planning to secure the future of Charleston’s unique and diverse heritage. Membership in the Society is open to everyone.

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