Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Carter Hudgins

Committee Member

William Cook

Committee Member

April Wood


The National Register of Historic Places is an inventory established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 that identifies architectural and archaeological sites significant to American history. The intention of the National Register is to encourage the documentation, evaluation, and protection of America’s historic and archaeological resources. Between its inception in 1966 to 2021, over 96,000 historic properties, sites, and structures were listed on the National Register, over 17,000 of them historic districts. Despite the important role the National Register has played in national historic preservation policy, its efficacy has never been measured. This thesis assessed the integrity of National Register Historic Districts nominated between 1966 and 1986 in South Carolina and the role local interventions played in the retention of the qualities for which the districts were nominated. A field assessment of seven of South Carolina’s National Register districts closely modeled on the National Register criteria compared current condition of the districts with their condition at the time of their nomination to measure retention of integrity. These quantitative scores supported comparisons between the seven historic districts and mapped the role local ordinances played in retention of integrity. Application of local interventions, preservation ordinances, design guidelines, financial incentives, and preservation goals outlined in comprehensive or strategic plans proved beneficial to higher rates of retention of architectural and historic integrity. Historic districts that did not adopt local historic preservation tools, or that did not actively utilize them, experienced higher rates of loss of historic resources. Pairing preservation ordinances with National Register nomination appears to have a substantial positive effect on the retention of historical integrity in this South Carolina sample.



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