Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Planning, Development, and Preservation

Committee Member

Amalia Leifeste, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Carter Hudgins

Committee Member

Frances Ford


Long a retreat for the wealthy and once Union staging areas during the Civil War, the barrier islands of South Carolina represent themselves as a unique beach experience. In the early years of the eighteenth century, builders on the islands utilized ocean winds to neutralize the effects of summer sun to make buildings ideal for recreation. The islands were then marketed as having unique identities and have developed connotations of individuality that endure today. This thesis explores the qualities that distinguish and identify these unique environments by examining and analyzing the physical fabric of a cross section of seven of nearly a hundred barrier islands that lie along the South Carolina coast. The cross-section surveys display architectural and landscape features seen on the barrier islands. The survey reveals that communities on the South Carolina barrier islands are not entirely unique or distinct from one another. The findings suggest that character-defining features are derived from zoning codes established by each individual island more than a localized vernacular of patterns of building on the different islands.



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