Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Planning, Development, and Preservation

Committee Member

Amalia Leifeste, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Barry Stiefel

Committee Member

Kristopher B King


In Charleston, the preservation movement has broadened its scope, including a varied and wider range of construction periods, architectural categories, and geographic locations. This study shows that the local preservation movement, as witnessed through the lens of the Carolopolis Award Program, has re-focused its preservation ethic to be more inclusive of a more diverse array of properties. The nation’s oldest municipal preservation organization was founded in Charleston in 1920 as the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings. After three decades, the society changed its name to fit a more generalized view of preservation: the Preservation Society of Charleston.

In 1953, the organization began awarding the Carolopolis Award to excellent preservation around the city. Until now, the Carolopolis Award Program has never been investigated as to how it relates to the larger, national trends of a broadening preservation. In the last sixty-five-years , the award has been conferred upon more than 1,200 properties. Some properties have even won the merit multiple times for continued excellent preservation efforts. Using GIS mapping, analyses of the organization’s published announcements of winners, and the physical traits of those awarded properties, such as their architectural category, degree of embellishment, period of construction, and period of preservation, a parallel between the national preservation movement’s broadening professionalization and ethos in regards to what to save is demonstrated through the master list of Carolopolis Award winners over the last sixty-five-years.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.