Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Historic Preservation (MHP)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Committee Member

Amanda Leifeste, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Carter Hudgins

Committee Member

Katherine Pemberton

Abstract

Gentrification can be defined as the influx of middle to upper-class residents into an area, usually with an old building stock, formerly occupied by working-class residents. This movement of people typically involves revitalization, displacement, and rehabilitation of neighborhoods or entire cities. In order to retain cultural and architectural heritage, preservationists must be conscious of how, when, and where gentrification occurs. This thesis provided an opportunity to measure gentrification in a historic neighborhood to then be used as a tool for planners, preservationists, and community members. This thesis analyzed indicators related to architectural and social components of a neighborhood in order to measure gentrification in the East Side neighborhood in downtown Charleston, South Carolina over a sixty-year period. This study analyzed indicators of gentrification which include: vacancy, occupancy, housing values, density, race, sex, age, family versus individual occupation, and crime. Ultimately, this study created a tool for preservationists, planners, community members, and the like to use when studying gentrification in historic neighborhoods. This thesis answers the question "“ What does gentrification, neighborhood change, and displacement look like in terms of quantifiable metrics related to architectural and social factors? How does this understanding of change over time translate into anticipation of and confirmation of gentrification in historic neighborhoods?

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