Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Advisor

Leifeste, Amalia

Committee Member

Muldrow, Ralph

Committee Member

Kohr, Andrew

Abstract

Completed in 1967, the Septima P. Clark Parkway is a prominent thoroughfare of peninsular Charleston, South Carolina. Locally known as the Crosstown, the road is officially part of Highway 17 and was conceived in the late 1950s to connect the state highway with Interstate 26. The roadway's route sliced through the middle of working class Charleston neighborhoods . City Council journals and minutes and South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) survey photographs reveal the character of the neighborhoods adjacent to the Crosstown. These micro-communities and their architectural fabric, disrupted by the acquisition of the right-of way and subsequent road construction, presented a picture of architecturally diverse neighborhoods in relatively good condition. By employing City Council documents, SCDOT photographs, and local newspaper articles, this study examines the City of Charleston's role in the placement of the Crosstown. It also analyzes the conditions and architectural design quality of the 1960s structures and 2014 structures in the path of the roadway. This analysis serves to assess the effects of the roadway throughout time. This study finds that the physical ramifications of the Crosstown were not as pronounced as conventionally thought. Within this work, the author suggests that the Crosstown is an example of a more successful urban renewal project of the 1960s.

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