Each year thousands of South Carolinians work to preserve the state’s legacy that is reflected in our historic buildings, structures, and sites. Since 1995, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Preservation South Carolina, and the Office of the Governor have recognized exceptional accomplishments in the preservation, rehabilitation, and interpretation of our architectural and cultural heritage with a series of statewide awards.
These efforts demonstrate the outstanding commitment to preserving South Carolina’s history; therefore the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Preservation South Carolina, and the Office of the Governor have joined together to announce the 27th Annual South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards, recognizing exemplary work in historic preservation in South Carolina.
The selection panel that chooses the awards from the list of those submitted are:
- A representative from the Office of the Governor
- Preservation South Carolina Board President (or designee)
- The Director of the SC Department of Archives and History (or designee)
- A representative from the board of the Preservation South Carolina
- Two representatives from the SC Department of Archives and History
- A representative of Preservation South Carolina’s 5 for the Future Membership
- A representative from the SC African American Heritage Commission
- A representative from the Confederation of SC Local Historical Societies
- A representative from the National Trust for Historic Preservation
- A representative from the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Now… the Presentation of Awards
2021 Governor’s Award
The Governor’s Award may be presented each year in recognition of an individual’s significant achievements or landmark efforts in the support of historic preservation in South Carolina. Any person who has demonstrated lifelong dedication to the preservation of South Carolina’s historic buildings, structures, or sites—whether involved in hands-on construction, planning, management, or regulation—may receive the Governor’s Award.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Cynthia Jenkins (Executive Director of Historic Beaufort Foundation); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
Cynthia C. Jenkins
Cynthia Jenkins received her Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee and is the first individual in America to receive an undergraduate degree in Historic Preservation.
Her forty-year career in historic preservation began at Lowcountry Council of Governments in Yemassee, South Carolina in 1974. The regional planning council serves the four counties of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper. She surveyed, researched and wrote Historic Resources of the Lowcountry: A Regional Survey that was published in 1979.
One of Mrs. Jenkins proudest accomplishments is her long association with the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Auldbrass Plantation near Yemassee, South Carolina. She played an instrumental role in encouraging and securing its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in1976. During the restoration of Auldbrass by its current owner, Joel Silver, Mrs. Jenkins served as an advisor and directed the monitoring of covenants for restoration called for in the preservation easement held by Historic Charleston Foundation.
In 1980 she was asked to return to her home state of Tennessee and the State Historic Preservation Office to develop and improve the methodology of conducting statewide histodc site surveys and creating an efficient National Register program. She has also served as an advisor to the Historic Preservation program at Middle Tennessee State University.
Mrs. Jenkins was the first full time director of Historic Beaufort' Foundation in Beaufort, South Carolina. She worked closely with the City of Beaufort to develop The Beaufort Preservation Manual, 1979, as well as the updated volume in 1989. The Beaufort Preservation Manual is still recognized nationally as one of the most successful preservation design manuals for owners as well as the city's Board of Architectural Review. Among other pivotal Beaufort projects was the development of the City's Tourism Ordinance, the Tour Bus Ordinance and Film Guidelines.
In 1996 the Preservation Society of Charleston recruited Cynthia to be its Executive Director. Her leadership at the Society (the oldest community-based preservation membership organization in the country) focused on the mission of preservation advocacy, preservation education and preservation plannlng. During her tenure the Society's endowment increased from less than $20,000 to over two million dollars and the membership increased by almost one third.
Mrs. Jenkins served on over two dozen boards and commissions while at the Preservation Society including; president of the Charleston Heritage Federation, a member of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Governors, the City of Charleston's Civic Design Center Board of Directors and as a member of the City of Charleston Tourism Management Committee and Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee. A few key issues addressed during her terms on these boards include development of the city's new Preservation Plan, cruise ship management and the impact of tourism in general on the livability and economic viability of historic neighborhoods and downtowns.
The Preservation Society of Charleston Board of Directors awarded Cynthia with attendance at the prestigious Attingham Summer School (class of 2007) in Great Britain in recognition of her years of successful leadership. In 2015 Mrs. Jenkins attended the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) Summer Institute in Winston-Salem to study the material culture and decorative arts of the SC and Georgia Lowcountry.
After leaving the helm of the Preservation Society of Charleston Mrs. Jenkins served as an Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Historic Preservation program jointly operated by Clemson University and the College of Charleston. Her work in the graduate program focused on Historic Preservation Administrationand Management, a component of preservation education that is often overlooked in preparing students for careers in historic preservation.
In addition to her long career in preservation Cynthia has continued to volunteer her time to preservation causes. She served as a judge for the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Preservation Honor Awards as well as a speaker at several national conferences. Also, in 2017 she delivered the keynote address at the state preservation conference in Columbia. Mrs. Jenkins served three terms over twenty years on the Board of Directors of the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation now Preservation South Carolina, South Carolina's statewide non-profit preservation, membership organization. Including most recently serving as President of the Board. Cynthia was also appointed to the Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission where she headed the Goodwin House restoration committee which oversaw the DOT funded stabilization and exterior restoration of the significant early resource. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History Foundation.
Cynthia was asked to return to Historic Beaufort in the fall of 2019 as Executive Director. She is focusing the organization's efforts on ensuring that preservation in Beaufort remains at the forefront by raising the organizations profile, increasing membership and diversity, and rehabilitating the Verdier House which is a Beaufort landmark.
She is married to Robert W. Jenkins former Creative Director for Environments, Inc. located in Beaufort, South Carolina. They now live on Glassy Mountain in northern Greenville County.
2021 Preservation Service Award
The Preservation Service Awards recognize projects and activities that make exemplary contributions to the advancement of historic preservation. Eligible projects that support Historic Preservation can include research, publications, education, advocacy, public policy initiatives, promotional activities, events, and funding programs. Up to five Preservation Service Awards will be presented each year. Any individual, organization, government agency, or business involved in a project or effort to further the cause of historic preservation in South Carolina is eligible to receive a Preservation Service Award.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Kathleen Buckley (Marketing Coordinator, ACBA); Becky Dornisch (Director of Development, ACBA); Margaret Hawk O’Brien (Trustee Emerita, ACBA); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
American College of the Building Arts for 2018-2020 Student Projects
The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA), located in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded in 1999 to educate student-artisans in the preservation and restoration of historic structures. Students complete a liberal arts curriculum that comprises academic courses with hands-on work in the traditional trades of blacksmithing, plaster, masonry and stone, architectural carpentry, and timber framing. Without these artisan skills being passed along, many of our nation’s historic structures would deteriorate beyond salvation or be damaged by poor repairs.
In 2018, 2019, and 2020, ACBA faculty and students worked on several projects that preserve South Carolina’s architectural and cultural heritage. These include:
Preservation of Hutchinson House, Edisto Island, South Carolina
From January through May 2018, twenty-six sophomores under the direction of Professor Christina Rae Butler, M.A. created a preliminary preservation plan for the Hutchinson House on Edisto Island. This house, built circa 1886 by former enslaved island resident Henry Hutchinson, is one of the first and most intact houses associated with the African American community on Edisto Island after emancipation. Hutchinson House is on the National Register (1987) because it is a rare intact vernacular cottage constructed by newly freed people during Reconstruction. Never modernized, the house represents its time period well. In 2016, the house was purchased by the Edisto Island Open Land Trust (EIOLT), which hopes to use it as a museum. The students did comprehensive research, including conducting chains of title and biographical research on the owners, and compiling historic plats and maps to document the evolution of the site. They then made construction/repair assessments and created a preservation plan.
Obstacles to their work: Hutchinson House’s design is based on local traditions, not professional design, so there are no construction drawings and fewer documents than are typically found for elite-owned or high-style buildings. The students had to think critically about the region’s context and carefully analyze the construction and materials to enable EIOLT to understand its history and evolution. Second, this house is a rural property, so public records such as building permits don’t exist. Third, Henry Hutchinson and other freed slaves were generally left out of written records. This forced students to look for information in many places, for example, the Freedmen’s Bureau bank records.
Informed by the students’ plan, a group consisting of architect Simons Young, preservationist Hillary King, structural engineer John Moore and historic preservation builder Guyton Ash
(former ACBA faculty member) set out to address the challenges of restoring such a fragile building. The main challenge for the on-site team—ACBA interns and graduates—was to figure out a way to stabilize the building and avoid taking it apart. They sought to leave as much as possible of the historic fabric in place. Ash took the innovative approach of installing a protective exterior halo and interior temporary walls that enabled exterior restoration around them. The exterior restoration was completed in November 2020.
Gravestone Restoration Project, Circular Congregational Church, Charleston
From 2017 to 2019, students majoring in architectural stone masonry worked under the direction of then-faculty member Simeon Warren to repair graveyard structures for Circular Congregational Church. Its graveyard is Charleston’s oldest burial ground, with monuments dating from 1695. Many were at the point of failure. Earlier repairs done with improper techniques or materials had done more harm than good. This graveyard has several examples of well-intended but failing repairs done a generation ago.
Warren and his students overcame numerous obstacles, including financial (a grant was obtained to pay for materials), safety while working around failing crypt walls and broken marble tops (Warren used a temporary frame to jack up a marble slab so the brick walls could be rebuilt) and ensuring historically accurate repair (students assessed which materials were original and which were later repairs, then used traditional-arts materials and techniques to stay as true as possible to the original structure).
n one project, two students rebuilt a crumbling pre-Revolutionary War crypt from its foundation to the brick walls to the broken marble roof. The students also repaired a marble box crypt that had been damaged by Halloween vandals. In another, four students repaired a tomb made of pre-Revolutionary War limestone. Damaged by water and sinking into the ground, the tomb had to be dismantled and rebuilt from foundation to top using historically accurate materials (lime mortar) but also stainless-steel pins to achieve longer-term stability. In a third project, students repaired a slate dated 1760 and rebuilt its foundation. This slate marks the grave of a member of the family of Richard Hutson, who became Charleston’s first intendant (mayor) in 1783.
In addition, Warren presented a workshop for the public in grave preservation and began a website for the church that will share its gravestone information. All of these projects were completed no later than the Fall of 2019.
Other restoration projects:
Fort Sumter National Monument (1829). In the summer of 2018, students worked along the fort’s gorge wall and right flank, moving Portland cement repairs from the 1990s that had ultimately caused even further damage to the exterior brick. They then repointed the joints using a more historically sympathetic natural cement mortar that will be less damaging to the brick while still easily withstanding the wear caused by ocean and weather.
Historic Brattonsville. 2020 Student Guild President and Valedictorian Jennifer Sustar designed masons’ scaffolding for Historic Brattonsville in McConnells, S.C., showing how scaffolding was used to build historic brick structures. She also wrote a paper on late 19th century sanitary and technological developments impacting Wisconsin dairy barns that she hopes will be the impetus for a larger survey project.
ACBA was founded for the purpose of training highly skilled, educated artisans who can preserve, repair and restore our nation’s architectural and historical treasures, while creating new work for future generations to come. These are just a few examples of the projects on which they have been working during the period outlined in the Preservation Awards Call for Nominations.
2021 Stewardship Award Recipients
The Stewardship Awards recognize those who have ensured the ongoing preservation of historic buildings, structures, or sites through long-term care, planning, management, protection, or continuous ownership for a minimum of ten years. Up to five Stewardship Awards will be presented each year. Any individual, family, organization, government agency, or business involved in the long-term care and management of historic buildings, structures, or sites (including archaeological sites, cemeteries, and landscapes) in South Carolina is eligible to receive a Stewardship Award.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Anthony Raymer (Project Manager, Shenandoah Restorations, Inc.); Chad McCormack (Superintendent, Shenandoah Restorations, Inc.); and Sara Johnson (Preservation Specialist, Culture & Heritage Museums); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
York Culture & Heritage Museums for McCelvey Center
The McCelvey Center is a historic school building located within the National Register Historic District in York, South Carolina. It is owned by York County Government and is one of four sites operated by the Culture & Heritage Museums of York County. The mission of the McCelvey Center is to collect and preserve the cultural heritage of York County and the Carolina Piedmont while providing programs and educational opportunities that reflect the regional history through research, exhibitions, and performing arts. Many of the school’s former classrooms serve as archival and museum collections storage for the Culture & Heritage Museums with the 1920s auditorium providing a venue for performing arts. Each year, the Culture & Heritage Museums runs the successful Southern Sound Series. The series of four concerts typically attract 400-500 people each. Other spaces within the building are used for community meetings, events, and functions.
The first school building located on the site of the McCelvey Center was the Yorkville Female Collegiate Institute, an imposing Greek Revival masonry building completed in 1855. In 1900, the building was destroyed by fire. A new building, known as the Yorkville Graded School, was built on the original stone foundations in 1902 using some of the local, handmade brick from the earlier building. In 1922, the school was expanded, adding several additional wings including the grand 500 seat auditorium with monumental arched windows. The building was designed by two prominent, native South Carolina architects: Hugh Edward White and William Augustus Edwards. White designed the 1902 building and Edwards designed the 1922 additions. The building served as a school until 1987 with many York County residents continuing to share memories of attending school at the McCelvey School, as it was called in its later years.
Culture & Heritage Museums’ Institutional Plan calls for the future development of museum exhibits and educational programs around the history of York County and the Carolina Piedmont in the McCelvey Center. The plan calls for the first floor of the building, in addition to the performing arts auditorium, to contain permanent exhibits focused on the history of York County and the McCelvey School. This expanded use as a regional history museum will benefit the community by providing a central location to preserve and present that rich history of York County at the heart of the county seat. Historic preservation is central to plan for the future uses of the McCelvey Center. The initial preservation work has focused on physical upgrades to the building envelope. In 2011, the building was re-roofed using slate, the historic roofing material. In 2019-2020, all of the historic windows were restored using best practices in historic preservation to retain these character defining features.
Remarkably, the McCelvey Center retains nearly all of its historic, wood sash windows dating to 1902 and 1922. The building has a total of 146 windows in 34 unique window types. Many of the wooden windows are in a tripartite configuration and there are thirteen monumental, arched auditorium windows at over seventeen feet in height. There are also several mid-century steel hopper type windows in a 1956 stair hall addition. The windows had suffered from years of deferred maintenance with many thought to be close to failure. The Culture & Heritage Museums’ historic preservation staff conducted a comprehensive hands-on assessment of the windows and determined that most were structurally sound and repairable, despite their outward appearance of deterioration. Ruling out replacement, the Culture & Heritage Museums decided to preserve the windows as an important character-defining feature of the building in keeping with Culture & Heritage Museums’ mission as a heritage institution and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
Shenandoah Restorations, Inc. of Irmo, South Carolina was selected through a competitive bidding process as the contractor to restore the windows. Historic preservation staff from the Culture & Heritage Museums produced the restoration plans and specifications and administered the contract. The project was funded in part by a York County Hospitality Tax grant. Work to restore the windows began in September 2019. Each window sash was removed and restored offsite. Lead paint and old glazing were removed. Original glass was reused wherever possible and any wooden elements that had to be replaced were faithfully reproduced. Traditional linseed oil based glazing putty was used for securing lights in their sash. Every window sash was salvaged, although some required significant repairs by the skilled craftspeople at Shenandoah Restorations, Inc. To improve energy efficiency, weatherstripping was added to the windows. The window repairs also included making the windows operable by removing the many layers of paint and caulk that sealed the windows shut and restoring their original sash weight system.
One of the challenges of this project was working around the Culture & Heritage Museums’ sensitive archival and museum collections that remained in place throughout the entire restoration process. Most of the rooms in the McCelvey Center house historic objects and documents that require a controlled environment for their long-term preservation and cannot be exposed to light or temperature fluctuations. The contractor had to take special precautions to protect these objects during the work and during the period that windows were removed for restoration. The project took one year to complete, an impressive timeline considering the massive scale of the project. Given that most of the windows were double or tripartite windows, over 570 individual window sash were removed, restored, and reinstalled. About 2,350 individual glass lights were removed and reinstalled or replaced. All 146 window frames were also restored and repainted. This project serves as a prime example of how historic wood windows can be restored rather than replaced to preserve the character of a building, and in turn help preserve the character of the historic community around it. The improvement to the exterior appearance of the McCelvey Center has had a great positive impact on the surrounding historic district. As an important component of the phased improvements to the building envelope, this project will have a further positive impact on the community by enabling the future use of McCelvey Center for regional history exhibits and other community uses.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Kyle Campbell (Preservation South) accepted on behalf of Pendleton Historic Foundation; Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
Pendleton Historic Foundation for Woodburn Plantation
Woodburn Plantation (C.1830) is one of two historic properties owned and interpreted by the Pendleton Historic Foundation (PHF) in Pendleton SC. The foundation is a small nonprofit that has owned both properties since their restoration as house museums in the 1960's. PHF operates and maintains both homes based on donations and the tireless work of dedicated volunteers, and more than a few weddings held on the grounds every year. House museums have like theirs have struggled with cutbacks in school tours and drops in visitor ship in recent years resulting in tighter budgets and the need to take a hard look at their interpretation in order to find a new and broader audience. The organization had known for same time that advances in research and preservation technology indicate that antebellum home's like Woodburn were never actually painted snow white with black shutters in the 19th century but the sheer size of the house and a need to limit annual expenses meant that the home could only be repainted one fac;:ade per year over an eight year rotation with the foundations other property Ashtabula. This stark financial reality meant that it was impossible to rehabilitate the entire exterior at one time without considerable financial investment PHF just could not make.
However, in the spring of 2020 a severe thunderstorm caused a large white oak near the main house at Woodburn fllantation to break in half and fall into the west fac;:ade of the building. The impact of the tree damaged the roof and the columns on the corner of the porch. The resulting insurance claim would cover the repairs and the cost of partially repainting the building, but this literal windfall was also an opportunity to do more. The board of the Historic Pendleton Foundation was faced with a choice, partially repaint in the non-historic titanium white applied to the building in the 1960's restoration or take this opportunity to make the site more historically accurate for visitors. The PHF board, led by project manager Rick Owens decided to commission a paint analysis of the building to determine the color scheme of the building in the mid-19th century when the Greek Revival double porches were constructed giving the building its current appearance. The analysis, completed by Preservation South, uncovered a straw body color with cream trim and chrome green shutters. Research shoed scheme was popularized during the "picturesque movement" by designers like Andrew Jackson Downing and would have complimented all of the carpenter gothic outbuildings built on the site around the same time. Based on these results the board chose to pair the insurance funds with a withdrawal from the endowment and take a chance that visitors (and brides) would be excited to experience Woodburn the way, it was meant to be seen.
PHF hired 1st Class Construction to undertake the paint prep and application, as well as repair all the actual damage from the tree's impact while the site was closed to visitors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Years of good and not so good paint jobs had developed a thick layer of alligatoring on much of the building that was painstakingly sanded down. Like many historic homes with extensive porches moisture damage and decay to porch columns and railings was common. As these deteriorated elements were removed they revealed even more serious damage to the internal structural elements of a few of the large square columns on the Greek revival fac;:ade of the building. To repair these the porches needed to be supported temporarily and porch sections removed to replace the internal timbers and the sills where the water had been rotting them for years without being seen. Once the extensive prep work was completed the home was painstaking primed and painted by hand with a brush in order to maximize the life of the paint job. The rough rubble stone foundation was originally stuccoed and likely scored to mimic ashlar blocks in the 19th century but none of that stucco has survived and the stone work had been painted titanium white like the rest of the building for decades. Based on research into period schemes it is likely that the stone foundation would have been a brownstone color to harmonize with the paint scheme uncovered. Re-stuccoing the foundation was not an option with the budget the project had so the decision was made to paint the foundation in a brownstone color to address the existing non historic white paint and evoke the look the foundation would have had in the period of interpretation.
While the visitation restrictions brought on by COVID-19 have kept visitor ship low the completed project has garnered significant attention through PHF's newsletters and social media presence with visitors looking forward to coming to experience and learn about Woodburn for the first time or come back to experience it in a new light. This project is a good example of a small preservation non profit taking two major set backs (a huge tree falling on their historic building and a global pandemic) and turning them into a long awaited opportunity to reinterpret their sight for the future.
2021 Tourism Award
The Heritage Tourism Award recognizes those who best use South Carolina’s cultural and historic resources in the documented development of tourism that directly benefits the preservation of our heritage. Any individual, organization, government agency, or business involved in a historic preservation project related to the tourism industry is eligible to receive the Heritage Tourism Award.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Khal Khoury; Caroline Cope Khoury; Chumley Cope; Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
Chumley Cope - Explore Up Close for
Explore Up Close - Virtual Travel in South Carolina: A Pandemic Exploration Project
Since 2004, our South Carolina travel company, Explore Up Close, has guided trips for thousands of people in South Carolina and the Southeast. Explore Up Close trips are designed for small groups of 5 - 14 travelers, which make for a uniquely intimate and immersive travel experience. Our signature small group trips feature local history and culture, private historic site visits with local experts, and excellent regional dining and boutique hotels, often in historic venues and buildings.
When the pandemic first struck in March 2020, the tourism industry shut down completely, and our business was no exception. However, we realized that we had a unique advantage: our "bread and butter" had always been exploring the backroads and hidden stories of South Carolina. Why not continue to showcase those places, and provide inspiration for future travel close to home, in our newly socially distanced world?
After cancelling our upcoming March 2020 group trips (to Charleston and Beaufort, SC, respectively), we decided to find a creative way to continue to share our passion for South Carolina historic and cultural sites with our clients and partners. We launched our Virtual Travel series – designed to safely promote education and exploration of South Carolina’s off-the-beaten track places, stories, and historic sites during the pandemic. Our Virtual Travel consisted of weekly emails (with photos and written content), and short Virtual Travel videos that we filmed in rural, remote parts of South Carolina. The isolation of these places made them safe for us to visit for filming purposes, and also lent themselves for easy, socially distanced exploration for individuals once travel restrictions within South Carolina began to ease. We shared this content with our email list of over 1,000 people. Soon, we were providing educational and inspiring content that introduced viewers to South Carolina’s historic inns, rich Gullah heritage, Revolutionary War sites, African-American heroes, trailblazing Southern women, long-forgotten local streetcars, and more.
Our Virtual Travel series evolved into our online membership program: The Corps of Discovery, named after Lewis and Clark's famous expedition. Later in 2020, we began hosting "virtual" monthly presentations on Zoom for our members, with diverse topics that ranged from Appalachian railroad history to South Carolina's early face vessel pottery, in partnership with the South Carolina State Museum. Our next upcoming event in April 2021 is a virtual guided tour of Drayton Hall, with ticket sales that directly benefit Drayton Hall and their preservation work.
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Inspired by our Virtual Travel content series, we also created and taught online courses (a total of 12 class sessions) for South Carolina residents and enthusiasts that focused on sharing itineraries for “backroads travel” in South Carolina.
We taught two separate courses, that were offered to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ Furman University and Wofford Lifelong Learning. Our course participants numbered over 200 people, and it was a delight to hear from our “students” about their socially distanced exploration and day trips that they took, inspired by our course. One person wrote to us, “I have lived in South Carolina for 15 years and didn’t know about many of the places you highlighted. I can’t wait to visit some of the towns and special sites you covered.”
2021 Preservation Honor Award Recipients
The Honor Awards celebrate successful and exemplary historic preservation projects around the Palmetto State. Up to five Honor Awards will be presented each year. Any individual, organization, government agency, or business involved in the preservation of historic buildings, structures, or sites (including archaeological sites, cemeteries, and landscapes) in South Carolina is eligible to receive an Honor Award for a historic preservation project. Multiple partners in a project may be nominated, but may not exceed three.
Andy Meihaus (Renew Urban Charleston); Nicole Vieth (Bill Huey + Associates); Bill Huey (Bill Huey + Associates); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
288 King Street
288 King Street in Charleston, SC is a three-story commercial structure on the main commercial corridor in Charleston. The rehabilitation of the property represents an innovative rehabilitation solution to structural problems that many professionals in the city considered unsolvable. The building façade has been preserved and the building put back into service as a vibrant element of the Charleston Old and Historic District.
The building was constructed in 1838 by George Miller, a local merchant. It replaced an earlier building on the lot which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1838. On one of the main commercial corridors in the city, the lot was a prime location to rebuild. The building is a typical nineteenth century three-story commercial structure with party walls on either side and a prominent façade and storefront facing the street. The building initially served as a dry goods store, drugstore, and a branch store for the Masonic Hall Bazaar. In 1883, John Henry Steinmeyer purchased the building and remodeled it, giving the façade its Italianate details. As the number of commercial buildings on King Street grew, contemporary and flashy facades were an important way to draw customers. Steinmeyer’s improvements included ornate window surrounds, a heavy cornice with brackets, prominent belt course, and decorative Italianate vents above the third-story windows.
The building continued to house dry goods businesses and other retail stores well into the mid-twentieth century. As new businesses moved in, slight remodels were completed at the storefront and in the first-floor retail space to better sell their wares. In the early twentieth century as a series of drug stores occupied the building, a leaded glass transom above the storefront was added. Additional changes in the mid-twentieth century would replace the storefront windows but few other changes occurred to the exterior of the building. By the 1970s the building was leased to a restaurant and the property remained a series of restaurants until 2016.
Unfortunately, in 2016, the façade of the building became a structural hazard. The building had been seriously damaged in the Earthquake of 1886, and after almost 200 years the original earthquake repairs were compromised. Additionally, the various storefront changes severed many of the structural connections between the façade and building. By 2016 the entire front façade was separating from the rest of the structure and moving into King Street. Building owner Bob Milani and his consultants called the City of Charleston and the premises were immediately vacated on account of life-safety concerns. Some local preservationists and structural experts thought the façade was beyond repair.
Milani held out hope that the façade could be retained and turned to ADC Engineering, Bill Huey Architects and Renew Urban contractors to creatively problem-solve in this emergency. The first solution involved the addition of a concrete and I-beam structure to support the façade while the long-term stabilization work could be performed. Large, open concrete forms were placed in the sidewalk and street to provide protection to King Street pedestrians. After this emergency stabilization, major preservation and rehabilitation work began - historic fabric was painstakingly removed and protected while new structural elements were built within the existing building envelope to ensure the building’s structural security. This new endoskeleton involved enormous and exceptionally heavy beams that had to be inserted into the structure with the use of the largest crane available on the East Coast. The historic facade was then fastened to the new I-beam structure. The windows were replaced with windows that better matched the historic precedents.
The property’s historic fabric was delicately returned to the building and the building was fully redeveloped, incorporating more usable rental space. The ground level retail space now houses a shoe retailer. The new storefront was designed to honor the historic precedent and includes hand-painted signage on the glass and the original brass sign plates returned to the wall of the building. The penny-tile flooring at the main entrance was replaced in kind. The most striking feature of the storefront is the meticulously repaired leaded-glass transom with replacement glass blocks to match where needed. The historic south entrance door was retained.
The property’s upper two floors, previously and exclusively used for storage for decades, were rehabilitated into four, market-rate apartments. A skylight on the top floor was restored, allowing the interior of the apartments to receive additional natural light. The restoration of the upper floors has added valuable usable square footage to the building, as well as bringing more residential life back to King Street.
The extensive rehabilitation of 288 King demonstrates that with a committed owner, creative thinking and a dedicated team, even some of the most serious preservation issues can be solved. The project help retain a valuable contributing building in the Charleston Old and Historic District. King Street is one of the major economic drivers and attractions of the city, and the rehabilitation of 288 King allows a unique historic property to provide retail and living space for decades to come.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Mark Hood (President, Hood Construction); Amanda Harter (Project Mgr, Hood Construction); Kim Moon (Interior Designer, Garvin Design Group); Scott Garvin (President, Garvin Design Group); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
1649 Main Street
One of the oldest surviving buildings in Columbia's Main Street Commercial Historic District, 1649 Main served alternately as Hendrix grocery and dry goods store, Ruff Hardware Store, and Hennessey's restaurant over the course of its long history. Unfortunately, the building had fallen into deep disrepair after many years of vacancy and needed extensive rehabilitation work when Main & Blanding LLC purchased the building in 2015. The new owner saw great potential in the building's location and character and set out to adapt the building for new use while carefully preserving its historic elements.
Rehabilitation faced significant challenges from the outset. Late 20th century additions and alterations had obscured the building's historic storefront system along Main Street, added a mezzanine and drop ceilings that masked pressed tin ceilings and wood trusses, and laid carpeting over the original hardwood floors. Water damage to the roof structure threatened plans for a new rooftop bar. Potential tenants viewed the building's cavernous and dark basement space as unleasable.
The project team looked to historic photographs and descriptions to inform design for its adaptive reuse. Historic newspaper photographs illustrated the building's mid-20th century fac;ade -the building's rehabilitation restored its historic storefront system to match 1930s and 1940s images taken from Main Street. Rehabilitation also removed the modern carpeting that obscured original hardwood floors. The original hard wood floors were restored in both the first and second levels. The concrete floor in the basement was stained and sealed to preserve the basement's historic floor materials but minimize dust. Removal of drop ceilings and the late 20th century mezzanine exposed the building's historic trusses and pressed tin ceilings. Site work included removing sections of the sidewalk on Blanding Street to restore the property's historic grade and provide daylight to the basement level, rendering this space useful to new tenants. These early rehabilitation tactics attracted the attention of local business owners charmed by the building's reinvigorated character and eager to capitalize on its location in Columbia's Main Street district.
Chef-driven local restaurant Hendrix was the first of the buildings new tenants following the rehabilitation of its shell. Upfit of the second level and rooftop for Hendrix was completed in late 2018. Interior brickwork, ductwork, hardwood floors, and heavy timber trusses remain exposed, recalling the building's long history as a retail store and the grocer from which the restaurant takes its name. Modern suspended staircases with timber treads original to the building provide access between floors without hindering open floor plans, maximizing the building's narrow footprint to accommodate as much seating as possible. Preservation of the building's historic windows allows natural daylight to flood the building's interior and provides an unparalleled picture window view to Main Street below.
Additional truss framing was constructed below the original roof decking to provide structural support for the new rooftop paver system, which effectively stacks the new bar above the existing roof. This enables the bar to hold large numbers of people while preserving the building's historic structure. Positioning the suspended stair to the rooftop along the building's south wall ensured that the building's historic roofline was visually maintained from street level. To this same end, cable railings along the roof's edge provide security while preserving historic sightlines. Large modern windows in the staircase enclosure provide rooftop guests visibility south along Main Street, affording the staircase shelter in case of inclement weather and bar patrons unobstructed views of the city skyline.
Beloved Columbia dance club The Woody became 1649 Main Street's second post rehabilitation tenant in late 2019; upfit of the ground level and basement for The Woody was completed in early 2020. An open floor plan on the ground level provides a spacious dance floor, with granite-topped bars and cozy seating arranged along two walls. High windows on the north wall and the glass storefront along Main Street bring light inside, highlighting the preserved high, pressed tin ceilings. Suspending the DJ booth over the building's main entry makes creative use of the building's high ceiling height and maintains visibility through the restored storefront.
Awards at both the local and state level recognize the project's impact on the community. Local and state chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Greater Columbia and AIA South Carolina) recognized the project's commitment to historic preservation and innovative preservation practices with Citation Awards for Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation in November and December of 2020. AIA Columbia's Citation Award for Adaptive Reuse recognizes thoughtful interventions or restorations that create a synergy between old and new construction. Members of the awards selection committee particularly noted how well design for the building's reuse incorporated multiple layers to maximize the narrow footprint, resulting in clever articulation of the narrow floorplate integrated vertically. They also noted how well the building's reuse celebrated its context. AIA South Carolina's Award for Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation recognizes thoughtful interventions or restorations that create a synergy between old and new construction. The awards selection committee particularly praised the selective removal of the sidewalk along Blanding Street, which bathes the subgrade courtyard in daylight. These awards uphold rehabilitation of 1649 Main Street as an example of outstanding adaptive reuse not only in Columbia but in South Carolina more broadly.
Rehabilitation of 1649 Main Street has had an important economic impact on the local community as well. The building's new tenants -Hendrix and The Woody -won The Columbia Chamber's Golden Nail Award in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The Golden Nail Award is given annually to businesses and property owners which exhibit exemplary contributions to the physical character of the greater Midlands area through cosmetic or commercial means during the previous year. This includes restoring a facade, historical buildings or repurposing blighted spaces. The tenants of 1649 Main Street received this award because their respective building upfits continued the revitalization of Main Street northward, expanding one of Columbia's primary business and arts and entertainment districts while preserving an important vestige of the city's architectural and economic history.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Donnie Love (McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, LLC); Kyle Campbell (Preservation South); Evan Jones (Caldwell Constructors); Chris Moellman (Caldwell Constructors); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
The Burdette Building
The Burdette building has been a landmark in downtown Simpsonville for a century. Built of yellow brick with classically inspired terra cotta and limestone trim, the building created a large mixed use commercial block for a growing Simpsonville. Originally conceived as a home for the Burdette Hardware store following a devastating fire on the same site, it also held a variety of other businesses crucial to the development of Simpsonville on the first floor and a shirt factory on the second. Like many downtowns across the state the essentials sorts of shops gradually moved out and by the early 21st century the building housed a large antique store and a few small shops at street level while the upstairs had remained vacant for decades.
The Burdette Building was added to the National Register in 2003 but struggled to find a comprehensive vision well into the 2000's in part because of its large size and complex challenges for access, code compliance, and use. That changed in early 2019 when a new ownership group began planning a comprehensive rehabilitation of the building in order to create a vibrant mixed use gathering space for the community. The building is full of juxtaposition, the building's classically inspired original core is flanked by austere midcentury storefront additions. The original main facade facing Main and Curtis Streets is the most elaborate in Simpsonville while the rear facade has a restrained industrial character. On the interior, the main floor is high style and has smooth plaster walls and ornamental tin ceilings, while the upper floor has an industrial character with painted brick walls and exposed truss ceilings. Balancing these two opposing characters was a priority throughout the rehabilitation's planning and execution.
Over the years the Burdette building had suffered from differed or inappropriate maintenance. Elements of the storefront had been insensitively altered, changes to the sidewalk grade had resulted in rising damp issues which in turn deteriorated the mortar joints on the first floor and degraded interior plaster. While the building was fortunate to have its original windows, they had gone unmaintained for years with loose and broken panes in nearly every sash. On the interior the metal ceilings were marred by earlier renovations where the most direct route for running pipes and wires had taken priority over maintaining the integrity of the metalwork.
In addition to addressing all these many issues and more, the design team also focused on maximizing the building's space efficiently in order to make it financially viable. This meant that the large commercial spaces were sensitively subdivided to create both street and rear facing units. The rear facade was modified to allow more interaction with a new common gathering space created in the rear of the building for future tenants and patrons to enjoy which include outdoor seating, a performance venue and ADA access. A new common area was also created on the interior to allow for shared restroom facilities, a secondary egress stair and an elevator to service both floors.
In order to minimize the impact of the rehabilitation on the building's historic character the exterior mortar was carefully matched, and pressed tin ceiling tiles were sourced to match the original patterns. The interior plaster was repaired, and the wood floors patched with custom milled flooring in order to blend with the existing. The original windows and the skylights were also refurbished with great care being taken to retain all the original glass panes. Finally, the terra cotta trim was cleaned and the exterior wood trim repainted in a historic green tone, meanwhile new striped awnings were installed to provide a more period appropriate look the exterior.
The building already had three tenants moved in and operating in the middle of the Covid 19 pandemic but the building was finally completed in December of 2020. The response in Simpsonville has been overwhelmingly positive with patrons flocking to the outdoor common area on weekend evenings to enjoy a meal from the barbeque tenant or listen to music provided by the coffee shop. In the coming months it is likely that the remaining tenant spaces will be rented and the Burdette Building will serve as a landmark for the Simpsonville for many years to come.
Bill Fitzpatrick (Board Chair, Preservation South Carolina); Elizabeth Bakker (Aaccepting for James Bakker, BF Spartanburg, LLC); Donnie Love (McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, LLC); Tom Finnegan (BF Spartanburg, LLC); Henry McMaster (Governor, South Carolina)
The Montgomery Building
In 1923, the Montgomery Family, a prominent fixture in Spartanburg’s textile manufacturing industry, commissioned Lockwood Greene Architects to design and oversee construction for what is now known as the Montgomery Building. Located along N. Church Street in downtown Spartanburg, the ten-story building was opened for business in 1924 and was one of the first Chicago-style skyscrapers completed outside of Chicago. During its lifetime the iconic building has supported a variety of office tenants, including Lockwood Greene’s headquarters and the BMW Manufacturing Company.
Over the past two decades, the building remained vacant and slowly deteriorated. Several proposals to save the building failed to materialize, and local leaders began to fear the worst for this landmark. In 2015, a new developer and future owner, BF Spartanburg, came forward with a plan to revitalize the building that city officials praised as a “next-level” catalyst for the city. BF Spartanburg engaged McMillan Pazdan Smith to perform a feasibility study while their development team finalized plans to restore the 91-year-old high rise and create a mixed-use facility featuring retail, commercial, and residential space. With BF Spartanburg’s vision, the Montgomery Building was saved from eventual demolition and Spartanburg’s central business district saw another key building put back into use.
After performing the feasibility study, BF Spartanburg selected MPS to be the Architect of Record for the historic renovation. Because the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the owners took advantage of Federal and State historic tax credits to assist with financing the project. MPS worked carefully with the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service to meet its criteria for preserving and rehabilitating the building.
Project's impact on the community and/or state
The finished product is approximately 127,000 SF that includes select boutique retail shops and restaurants on the ground floor, dedicated office space on the second and third floors, and residential apartments on the remaining floors. The economic impact on the City of Spartanburg was felt immediately with most of the space being occupied within the first year. Since its completion, new development and activity along N. Church Street has increased noticeably.
Degree of Difficulty and Obstacles Overcome
After years of neglect, the pre-cast concrete façade was delaminating to the point that it was necessary to erect scaffolding along the buildings’ perimeter to protect the street from falling debris until a solution to the problem could be determined. The original pre-cast concrete façade was highly detailed and historically significant as concrete panels used for a façade were innovative in the early part of the 20th Century. MPS first investigated whether the panels could be saved and re-used to comply with the National Park Service standards, as a study paid for by the previous owner indicated that the panels were not structurally sound and could only be replaced. MPS examined the existing structural reports and hired Bennett Preservation Engineering, a structural engineer with expertise in the preservation of historic buildings, to review the panels. BPE ultimately agreed with the original report and determined that the panels could not be salvaged. Our design team immediately began the process of gaining approval to remove the panels from the SC SHPO and the National Park Service. Following lengthy review and discussion, the NPS agreed to the removal and replacement of the original pre-cast panels, but not without first measuring and documenting the size and design of every panel so they could be reproduced in exact detail per “standard six” of the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation. MPS teamed with the general contractor and began the tedious process of documenting every detail of the original panels so the replicas would be precise. Mock-up panels were created for the SC SHPO to review prior to putting the panels into fabrication. This process resulted in one of the only projects in the country that was allowed by the NPS to completely remove and replace the exterior façade of a historic building and still receive tax credits.
The original wooden windows were replaced in the 1970’s with “modern” aluminum windows. To reproduce the building’s original design, the MPS design team went through the lengthy process of replicating the original wooden windows. This was made easier by the discovery of an original window that was still intact, having been covered by construction from previous renovation inside the building. That window was used to develop details for the new windows. Unable to match the historic details with aluminum replica windows, real wood windows were fabricated, tested and installed, matching every detail of the originals.
Degree to which the activity or effort serves as an example of outstanding commitment to historic preservation and innovative preservation practices. Adhering to the NPS standards meant that all floors were required to maintain or reconstruct the original layout of the public spaces, including corridors, elevators, and stairs. As with the exterior, many of the interior details had been removed or covered over time. Using the original Lockwood Greene drawings as a guide, the MPS team painstakingly documented the original design elements that remained and carefully created construction details, so these elements could be replicated, reusing the remaining pieces and recreating those that were missing, including decorative plaster ceilings and capitals, marble floors and walls, and wood trim. Most of the original materials and details were still in place in the ground floor arcade with the exception of the plaster capitals. Fortunately, a few of the original plaster capitals that were removed in the 1960’s were found when cleaning out the building and were used to replicate the design so that all of the capitals could be reinstalled in their original locations. The 1924 design also included a 1,000-seat theater within the footprint of the building. While the exterior of the theater was renovated as part of this project, the interior renovation was excluded from the project in an effort to find just the right tenant to manage the space.
An additional hurdle relating to the building’s façade was the design of the ground floor entrances to the retail spaces. The building was designed with very large storefront openings along the ground floor which were all infilled during the 1980’s. The glass sizes were so large that they could not be fabricated from insulating glass, which is the current standard for new construction. In addition, none of the original storefront frames or steel window transoms remained. After months of research, steel window frames and transoms were designed that closely resembled the original design and special permission was received to use single pane glass in the openings, recreating the 1920’s look. The ten-story landmark was completely renovated on the exterior to the last detail. The interior public spaces and residential floors were restored as well leaving the business and theater spaces ready for tenant upfit. New mechanical, electrical, life safety, and fire protection systems function like a new building within the historic landmark. Above all, special attention was given to preserving the remaining historic fabric to meet NPS standards.