Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Committee Member

Dr. R. Grant Gilmore, III, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Barry Stiefel

Committee Member

April Wood

Committee Member

Karen Harvey

Abstract

While scholars debate the causes of gentrification and some question if it exists, the revitalization of inner-city neighborhoods more often than not results in the displacement of many of its residents. Failure to engage the unintended consequences of gentrification are world-wide. Some policy-makers embraced gentrification as a panacea for all their city's problems. The displacement of the urban poor and lower-middle class weakens not only their bonds with generations of community but also the character of the neighborhood which attracted the gentrifiers in the first place. Grassroots organizations have attempted anti-displacement efforts by in many places, but there have been few studies of their effects. In the late 1990s, Historic Charleston Foundation, an organization with a long record of accomplishment in neighborhood-wide regeneration efforts, joined forces with Calvary Episcopal Church's Community Housing Development Organization in an effort to rehabilitate blighted properties in the Elliottborough neighborhood while mitigating displacement. This paper analyzes the program from a demographic, financial, and social perspective utilizing archival records and oral histories to explore the positive and negative outcomes. These outcomes inform recommendations for future projects which seek to preserve the architectural fabric of a community while providing equitable access to the resulting environment for present and future residents.

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