The battle to erect a public monument honoring the 170 South Carolinians who signed the Ordinance of Secession that would eventually lead to the Civil War has moved to North Charleston.
One month after the idea was effectively killed at Patriots Point, North Charleston appears ready to provide space for the monument along the city's waterfront.
Under a plan being unveiled this week, city officials would offer a temporary site at Riverfront Park. The monument would stay there until the museum dedicated to the H.L. Hunley submarine gets built in North Charleston -- potentially years down the road.
"I think it's part of the history of the state of South Carolina," Mayor Keith Summey said Tuesday. "Whether you agree with the secession or not, the fact is it did occur and it did happen. We learn from our history."
Last month, the Patriots Point's development board deadlocked 3-3 in a split decision whether to allow the monument on their grounds. Afterward, advocates from the state division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans immediately sought out another suitable site.
Summey said Tuesday that after the vote, he invited the group in, offering them riverfront space. The monument will play into the eventual opening of the museum and be an associated tourism draw, he added.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans' proposal calls for a memorial about 12 feet tall made of blue Georgia granite. It would depict the secession document and two relevant scenes, while listing the names of its signers.
Sons of Confederate Veterans members are backing the monument as a means of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the secession convention held in Columbia and Charleston, Dec. 17 and Dec. 20, 1860.
Jeff Antley, the Sons of Confederate Veterans member in charge of finding a location, said the monument could be built for about $150,000, and would include a 40-feet-square park. The cost to erect it in North Charleston is somewhat cheaper than for the Patriots Point proposal, he said, because the soil is different in North Charleston and below-ground supports wouldn't need to be as strong to hold up the 20-ton monument.
If all goes well and the engineering comes off without a hitch, Antley said construction could begin this summer, with completion in time for the Dec. 20 secession anniversary.
Antley will make a presentation on the monument to City Council members Thursday. Summey said he's already floated the idea to council's three minority members, and no one raised opposition.
One senior black member of City Council, Sam Hart, said Tuesday he probably wouldn't make a public comment until the time of the vote Thursday.
"Right now I'm just studying the history of that before I make my decision," he said.