Historic Markers

The Preservation Society invites you to apply for an historic marker for your property.  Working with Preservation Society staff, you will assist with the compilation of historic research and draft of the marker text. We encourage local residents to participate in this preservation program that provides continuous education of Charleston’s history and architecture. For more information on the Historic Markers Program please contact Robert Gurley, Assistant Director, at 843.722.4630 or email at rgurley@preservationsociety.org.

Historic Marker Application Form

History of the Historic Markers Program

Since 1959 the Preservation Society of Charleston has erected over 100 historic markers in Charleston’s Old and Historic District. The program began when the Preservation Society was asked by the Charleston Historical Commission, a city sponsored organization responsible for the marking of important public facilities, to assist in recognizing noteworthy private residences by erecting historic markers. The purpose of the markers was to “inform walking tourists and Charlestonians alike as to the historical background of the city.”

The Preservation Society of Charleston responded to this request by establishing an historic marker program in 1959. The guidelines stated that the marker would be made available to homeowners at cost plus a small donation to the Society. The marker text would be approved by the Preservation Society’s Marker and Awards Committee. The homeowner was required to keep the marker in good repair. One of the first historic markers erected by the Preservation Society was at 27 King Street, the family home of Miss Susan Pringle Frost, the Society’s founder.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

Since 1959 the Preservation Society of Charleston has erected over 100 historic markers in Charleston’s Old and Historic District. The program began when the Preservation Society was asked by the Charleston Historical Commission, a city sponsored organization responsible for the marking of important public facilities, to assist in recognizing noteworthy private residences by erecting historic markers. The purpose of the markers was to “inform walking tourists and Charlestonians alike as to the historical background of the city.”

The Preservation Society of Charleston responded to this request by establishing an historic marker program in 1959. The guidelines stated that the marker would be made available to homeowners at cost plus a small donation to the Society. The marker text would be approved by the Preservation Society’s Marker and Awards Committee. The homeowner was required to keep the marker in good repair. One of the first historic markers erected was at 27 King Street, the family home of the Society’s founder, Miss Susan Pringle Frost.

Purpose

To educate the general public about Charleston’s significant buildings, structures, and objects, as well as outstanding events and people involved in local, state, and/or national history.

Eligibility Criteria

Buildings, structures, and objects that possess architectural and historic integrity and

  • that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  • that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
  • that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction or that represents the work of a master, or that posses high artistic values or that represents a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
  • that have yield or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history.

Application Process

  • Print out and complete Application Form and submit request to Preservation Society.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit documented proof that a property meets Historic Marker criteria. See the attached list of books and resources that may be helpful for identification of your property. In addition to these sources, family bibles, deeds, maps, and original family histories are all great sources of information.
  • Applicant may submit a preliminary draft of historic marker text or ask the Preservation Society to write the text. Text should be a maximum of 400 words (no more than 1 typed page).
  • Historic Marker text is reviewed for approval by the Preservation Society staff and will be edited to organization standards.

Cost

Cost shall be paid by the applicant after the Historic Marker text is approved and before the marker is manufactured. Marker cost is $1000.00.