Charleston was the nation’s first city to incorporate preservation into its zoning laws in 1931, and it currently reviews many, but not all, planned demolitions in the city.
In the city’s Old and Historic District, which covers much of the peninsula south of Cannon and Mary streets, the Board of Architectural Review must approve all demolitions, regardless of a building’s age.
Between there and Mount Pleasant Street, the board reviews only demolitions of buildings 75 years or older. Also, the board has jurisdiction over demolition requests for certain structures outside the Historic District but included on the city’s Landmark Overlay Properties list.
Meanwhile, several other Lowcountry municipalities also have historic districts and review boards that must approve any demolitions within their boundaries.