At the Preservation Society of Charleston’s November membership meeting, Executive Director Evan Thompson and I received a check for $32,089 from the Charleston Heritage Symposium.

The funds will benefit the society’s “Seven to Save Fund,” an outreach program designed to raise awareness of and support for seven key preservation projects, including the United Order of Tents Building, the Lewis Christian Union Graveyard, the historic 11th Ward neighborhood in the upper peninsula and Charleston sweet shops.

The inaugural Charleston Heritage Symposium, a decorative arts program presented under the auspices of the Preservation Society, was held in October. More than half of the participants were from out of town, coming from 16 states and two foreign countries. These heritage visitors added $10,000 to the economy as they stayed in Charleston hotels, ate in restaurants and shopped locally.

In addition, the $35,000 in expenses for services supporting the symposium were all local, including catering, printing, brochure design, web design and management, photography and ground transportation. The Charleston Heritage Symposium offered opportunities for learning and increased appreciation of our historic city while adding an estimated $77,000 to the community.

Even as work has begun for the 2013 symposium, this year’s event will continue to have an economic impact as the Preservation Society of Charleston puts the funds to work hiring local workers to preserve and restore buildings, houses and grounds. This new partnership is clearly a win-win for us and for Charleston.

Caroline McC. Ragsdale


Preservation Society of Charleston

King Street