CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Charleston’s Union Pier as one of America’s “11 most endangered historic places.”
The list- compiled annually since 1988- identifies significant sites of American history that the national trust believes are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.
Read More: People still concerned after hearing developer’s redevelopment plan for Union Pier
Charleston’s Union Pier-area neighborhoods were named due to a proposed mixed-use development, which the national trust believes “could threaten the area’s historic character, viewsheds, and climate resilience.”
he 65-acre waterfront site is former marshland that has been used for shipping, industrial production, and port operations since the 18th century. It’s currently owned by the South Carolina Ports Authority.
“The 11 Most Endangered list demonstrates the tremendous power of place. Each site offers an opportunity to engage with our shared history where it happened and inspires us to work together to honor each other’s experiences and contributions to our country,” said Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France. “These places and their stories might have been lost already if not for the dedication and perseverance of people who continue to stand up for them year after year. We are humbled and honored to join their fight.”
Other places listed include Pierce Chapel African Cemetery, Midland, Georgia; Little Santo Domingo, Miami, Florida; and West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Visit the “Saving Places” website for the full list and ways to help.
After the list was released, the Coastal Conservation League released the following statement, in part:
“In support of the National Trust’s decision, our organizations stand united: There is a better way. As we wrote this week, the current developer-led plan proposes building sizes and density that are not remotely compatible with Charleston’s historic built environment. … The plan also lacks adequate open space and resilience measures which should be the core focus of any large-scale master plan on the water’s edge. Core elements of the plan, such as affordable housing and the proposed public financing structure are not yet known. … Having worked together to halt disruptive and environmentally damaging cruise homeport operations, the Coastal Conservation League, the Preservation Society of Charleston, and Historic Charleston Foundation continue to collaborate to protect the historic district of Charleston.”
The coalition is hosting three events in May “to follow up on our call for a better process and plan for Charleston’s historic waterfront.”
Thursday, May 11 @ 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Community Workshop on a Better Way Forward for Union Pier
Hosted by Preservation Society of Charleston at St. Julian Devine Community Center, 1 Cooper St.
Tuesday, May 16 @ 6 p.m.
Environmental Impacts of Union Pier Redevelopment: What We Need to Know
Hosted by the Coastal Conservation League via Zoom
Thursday, May 18 @ 6 p.m.
Union Pier Advocacy Forum
Hosted by Historic Charleston Foundation at Charleston Museum Auditorium, 360 Meeting Street