Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Planning, Development, and Preservation

Committee Member

Amalia Leifeste, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Carter L Hudgins

Committee Member

Craig M Bennett


This thesis investigates the architectural and micro spatial patterning development of outbuildings within the walled city of Charleston, South Carolina. The goal of this thesis is to study how accessory buildings in Charleston, South Carolina have evolved between 1884 and 1955. The study area is within Charleston’s historic walled city, a 30.4-acre area bounded by Meeting Street on the west, East Bay Street on the east, Cumberland Street on the north and Water Street on the south. The 1884, 1902 and 1955 Charleston Fire Insurance Maps illuminate the expansion of the nineteen blocks within the walled city of Charleston over the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The Fire Insurance Maps are analyzed to observe changes that occurred on each property within the study area with respect to massing, location of the accessory buildings related to the main building, materials and number of stories. Survey123 and ArcGIS Online chart architectural relationships found between 798 primary buildings and 1413 secondary buildings located in the focus area. Analysis of spatial patterns, materials, building use and building evolution reveal the historic development of Charleston’s urban outbuilding. The data shows back buildings in Charleston are purpose-built utilitarian buildings, typically constructed linearly behind the primary building and have become smaller in size and form between 1884 and 1955. This thesis creates an inventory of the buildings behind the big houses that has not been completed in any prior surveys or research, and findings support preservation and continued use of historic secondary buildings and will provide an informed background for new outbuildings to be constructed within Charleston that are sensitive to building patterns of secondary buildings on the peninsula.



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