Preservation Society of Charleston
What We Do | PSoC


We appear at public meetings of the City of Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review, Board of Zoning Appeals, Commercial Corridor Design Review Board, Planning Commission and City Council to present position statements on matters critical to the future of Charleston’s historic districts. We also regularly meet with property owners, architects, developers and neighborhood association leaders to discuss proposed projects as well as offer technical advice.


Seven To Save

Seven to Save is an outreach program designed to preserve vulnerable historic and cultural resources in the Charleston area through education and public awareness. Because each project poses unique challenges, we work toward creative solutions tailored to the specific issues at hand, often leading to collaboration with partners in the community. When a project reaches a successful outcome, it is rolled off the list, and a new at-risk resource is added.

1. Old Sheldon Church Ruin
Located in northern Beaufort County and formerly known as Prince William's Parish Church, this ruin has been at the center of much of the region's turbulent history. Originally constructed from 1745 to 1753, the church held its first service in 1757. British troops razed the edifice during the Revolutionary War, but it was rebuilt on the same foundation in 1825. During the Civil War, the church again succumbed to fire and has endured as a ruin ever since. While the site and surrounds have remained intact, the use of the site has intensified greatly because of the active promotion of Sheldon as one of the top sites to visit in Beaufort County. The wear and tear from tourists visiting the site, and sometimes leaving their mark or taking a souvenir, has left the ruin in a precarious state.
2. Brick House Ruin
Located on Edisto Island, the ruin is one of South Carolina’s most important links to its French Huguenot heritage and one of the few surviving examples of a brick colonial plantation house. It requires immediate stabilization and the development of a long-term use / preservation plan.
3. United Order of Tents Building
Constructed in 1856, the Francis P. Seignious House at 73 Cannon Street has been the home of the United Order of Tents for more than 50 years. The United Order of Tents is an all-female benevolent society that was founded as an Underground Railroad for slaves escaping from the south. Today, the building needs immediate stabilization and development of a preservation plan.
4. Hampstead Square
At the core of Charleston’s only neighborhood planned as a traditional English town model, Hampstead Square was the historical gathering place in the Eastside community for African-American political rallies in the 19th century and for provisional shelters following the 1886 earthquake. A beautification and revitalization plan would help restore the square’s openness and symmetry to make the site a community gathering place once again.
5. Historic Ward 11
In a city with as many historic buildings as Charleston, the neighborhoods of the middle and upper peninsula that date from the more recent past are often overlooked. Such is the case with Ward 11, developed in the early-20th century and bounded by the Septima Clark Expressway to the south, Mount Pleasant Street to the north, King Street to the east and Rutledge Avenue to the west. The largely undocumented area does not have full protection from the Board of Architectural Review and faces increasing development pressures, demolition by neglect, and insensitive infill.
6. Jackson Street Cottages
An important vernacular building type in Charleston, the “single cottage” form is being lost throughout the city by demolition and inappropriate alterations that erode character-defining features.
7. Magnolia Umbra Cemetery District
The cemeteries in this district have become increasingly fragile since its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. A large number of people care about and have a deep connection with these historic cemeteries, but their caretakers are overwhelmed by the maintenance and preservation tasks associated with them. Mobilizing stakeholders to care for these sacred places is a top priority.
Prior Seven To Save Projects
Civil Rights Era Sites
Holy City Initiative
Off-Ramp Houses
Quarters A
Receiving Tomb
Rose Lane
Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood
Small Shops
Tabby Architecture
Beckroge Bakery
Enston Memorial Hall
Historical Maps and Plats
Trolley Barn


The Preservation Society of Charleston has been accepting preservation easements since 1978 and currently holds more than 75 exterior as well as numerous interior easements. A preservation easement is a legal agreement that protects the architectural integrity of a property by restricting future alterations and uses of the property. An easement on a certified historic structure allows the owner to protect their property in perpetuity while qualifying for Federal tax deductions. Email for information on donating an easement.

Carolopolis Awards

In 1953 the Carolopolis Award program was created to recognize outstanding achievement in exterior preservation, restoration and rehabilitation. Since then, The Preservation Society has presented more than 1,300 awards in recognition of such achievement. Email for information on Carolopolis Award eligibility.

Carolopolis Award Nomination Form

Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance

In 2013, we created the Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance, in honor of the African-American contractor and craftsman who played an integral part in Charleston's early preservation movement. The Society's founder, Susan Pringle Frost, often hired Mr. Pinckney to handle the restoration of historic properties, calling him her "right-hand man." Pinckney was one of the most prized artisans of his day, not only because of his renowned expertise but also because he employed and trained numerous African-American tradesmen in the building arts. The mission of the Alliance is to support the Society in advocating, identifying, and preserving African-American material and cultural heritage. Email for more information on the Alliance.

The Halsey Map Project

Halsey Map

The Halsey Map Project is an ongoing research effort that provides narrative information and images illustrating the notable sites, people and events selected in Alfred O. Halsey’s historic map. Reproduction copies of the Halsey Map are available through the Preservation Society’s Shop.


The following are critical preservation processes. Please click links for further information and most recent agendas.

Board of Architectural Review
Reviews requests for exterior alterations, new construction, and demolition of structures within the Old and Historic District and the Old City District.

Board of Zoning Appeals – Zoning
Hears and decides appeals for variances or special exceptions from the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Charleston that pertain to, among other things, use changes, parking requirements, lot occupancy and density.

Board of Zoning Appeals – Site Design
Hears and decides appeals for variances or special exceptions from the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Charleston that pertain to, among other things, site design, landscape buffers, and tree removal.

Planning Commission
Has the power and duty to prepare and recommend to City Council plans and programs to, among other things, revise city zoning districts, regulate subdivisions and the development of land, and review and comment on the compatibility of any new street, park, open space or structure with the City’s Century V comprehensive plan.

Design Review Board
Reviews requests for alterations, new construction and signage of commercial and non-residential projects along major commercial corridors outside the Old and Historic District and the Old City District.

Charleston City Council
The City’s body of elected officials that is the only entity whose authority includes, but is not limited to, creating new ordinances, amending the Zoning and City Code of Ordinances, considering recommendations from Planning Commission, and approving all City planning documents.

City Planning Documents