Preservation Planning Studio and Preservation Project Management classes to focus on Mt. Zion A.M.E., Glebe Street, this semester

Profs. Ward and Butler are excited to get their classes involved at Mr. Zion A.M.E. Church this Spring. The church is in the midst of the historic college campus but remains a prominent African American Church. Prof. Ward reached out to create a partnership with the church, giving students the opportunity to get in (and under the building) to study its materials, evolution, history, and preservation/ maintenance needs. Preservation Planning Studio students are creating measured drawings for the building, while Preservation Project Planning class will be making repair recommendations and creating a preliminary budget, scope, and schedule to guide future work that the congregation may undertake.
Prof. Ward got the students involved in high tech analysis this week, inviting Chris Morabito with Faro Technologies to demonstrate with 3D scanning of the church interiors.

The circa 1847 church has weathered a major fire and several hurricanes. It has had several repair campaigns, but retains original character defining features (as well as many materials added during alterations.) Here are some photographs of preliminary investigation on site, and be sure to check back for updates throughout the semester!:












“What is Your Heritage and the State of its Preservation?” -Seniors publish their capstone papers in a book edited by Prof. Stiefel

Several members of our graduating class now have published work to boast! Prof. Stiefel selected some of the best works from his senior paper seminar addressing family heritage and associated sites and compiled them into an edited volume, available now through Heritage Books!

Here’s a description of the book:
What is Your Heritage and the State of its Preservation?: Essays on Family History Exploration from the Field – Edited By Barry L. Stiefel. During the Spring 2014 semester several students at the College of Charleston’s Historic Preservation and Community Planning program participated in their Senior Seminar titled “What is Your Heritage and the State of its Preservation?”. For this class, each student had to conduct a lengthily in-depth research paper on the state of preservation of heritage sites, material objects, or traditions associated with their family’s history. The assignment used genealogical research methods in an unconventional way by elevating the assessment of ancestors beyond typical names, dates, and generational succession; so commonly found on most family trees. The students had to ask profound questions to guide their inquiry, such as “Where (as in a specific spot) did my ancestors come from?”; “What was life like for them?”; and “What cultural traditions were important for them?”. In this way people, whether through a specific individual or a group, became connected and contextualized within time, place, and society. Moreover, the students had to utilize and synthesize the knowledge, skills, and experiences they acquired in other classes from past semesters. Essays contributed within this volume are by Blanding Lee Clarkson, Emily Floyd, Kaitlin Glanton, Dannielle Nadine Hobbs, and Michael C. Patnaude, as well as a prototype from when the editor was a student.

Welcome back for Spring 2015 Semester!

Students have returned to campus for the start of what will be a great semester.
There are several interesting electives being offered, including
National Register for Dummies with Dr. Stiefel,
Preservation Project Management with Prof. Butler,
Preserving Gullah Graveyard Traditions with Prof. Ward, and
Global Preservation Issues with Dr. Gilmore.

Prof. Stiefel hit the ground running with an off site lecture for the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, titled “Jews as Middlemen in the Neutral Eighteenth Century Atlantic World”. The presentation was at the Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon.



Dr. Stiefel’s Historic Building Survey Class completes impressive report this fall.

Dr. Stiefel taught a Historic Building Survey Class preservation elective course this fall as a preservation elective course in which students completed a survey of communal structures for the Charleston World Heritage Coalition. The CWHO is currently working on an application for Charleston’s inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, one of the most prestigious national designations for historic and natural sites. Ashley Davis, Allison Deyo, Craig Garrison, Madisen Gelner, Rebecca Hudson, William Joseph, Zachary Liollio, Kieran Marshall, Jessica Russo, and Elliot Slovis worked together under Stiefel’s guidance to create a historic resources survey identifying and evaluating communal sites, including governmental buildings, religious institutions, and places of public education that were built on the Charleston peninsula prior to 1900.The class filled out a Statewide Survey of Historic Properties form for the SHPO, and their research will be invaluable to the CWHO as the continue with the World Heritage nomination.

Here are some images of the students presenting their findings to Tom Aspinwall, director of the Charleston World Heritage Coalition.



Fall faculty conference and training updates

Fall was a busy semester, and now that grades have been submitted we’re taking a moment to add some updates from the exciting conferences that some of our faculty members participated in.

Barry Stiefel appeared in a newspaper article by El Amaneser about the Sephardic Diaspora conference he attended in Germany. Dr. Stiefel tells us that the newspaper, produced in Turkey, is published in Judeo-Spanish (also called Ladino).


Here’s a shot of Ralph Muldrow at the Association for Preservation Technology international conference in Quebec, Canada.


Brittany Lavelle Tulla made it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation Past Forward conference in Savannah, Georgia and Christina Butler participated in an all day hands on moulding plane workshop in Pittsboro, North Carolina at the Woodwright’s School. Instructor Bill Anderson lectured about historic trim profiles and the hand planes used to create them, and attendees learned how to layout and cut complex moulding profiles.

A photograph of a circa 1750s plane owned and used by English Cabinetmaker Mr. Syms in the eighteenth century that Butler picked up for a deal at the workshop.

Students, faculty attend bricklaying workshop for Design, Arts, Preservation in Schools (DAPS)

This past weekend, 12 students were selected to participate in an all day bricklaying workshop at the American College of the Building Arts, as part of the new DAPS program. Prof. Gayle Goudy from the Art History Department and Prof. Muldrow are spearheading the Design + Arts + Preservation in the Schools (DAPS) program, designed to introduce middle and high school students to preservation and the arts.

On November 8, Muldrow, Goudy, and Prof. Christina Butler joined the students for an intensive workshop led by Simeon Warren, trowel trades professor, at the College of Building Arts. The students participated in geometry, estimating, and drafting exercises in the morning. After lunch, they had the chance to learn about historic lime mortar and mix a few batches. The students then broke into groups of two and put their training to the test, building small sections of a brick wall using historic bricks and mortar.

The goal of the day’s exercises is part of the a faculty effort to create K-12 curriculum for the DAPS program combining history, algebra, fractions, and chemistry with architecture and the arts through fun, hands on exercises.

Thanks to Simeon Warren, Dr. Goudy, and Ralph Muldrow for a fun and educational day!

Here is a brief description of the Design+Art+ Preservation in the Schools (DAPS) initiative, taken from the DAPS blog page:

The DAPs initiative seeks to integrate design, art, and preservation into Charleston County Schools curriculum using the often overlooked tools of creative design including visual, tactile, and experiential learning. We strive for ways to to aide teachers in achieving their learning outcomes and use the city of Charleston with its extensive stock of historic architecture as a living laboratory. A special emphasis will be to find new ways forward in aiding low performing schools in their quest for new ways forward in education.

This initiative is composed of members from throughout the community including the College of Charleston, Clemson Architectural Center, Clemson Lasch Lab, American College of Building Arts, Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Preservation Society of Charleston, Yo Art Project, Historic Charleston Foundation, Gibbes Museum of Art, and local architectures and teachers.

Prof. Warren demonstrates geometric exercises with a compass on the floor of a jail cell in the ACBA’s campus.

The students learn about laying brick and the importance of proper foundations.


Drafting exercises.


Mixing historic lime mortar and laying brick!

Dr. Goudy tries her hand at masonry.

Prof. Goudy and Prof. Butler admire upper class stone carving student work at ACBA.

Prof. Muldrow approves of the work.



Preservation student Zach Liollio builds a wall; completed sections stand waiting for Prof. Warren to check them for level and plumb.

Recent preservation class field trips

Last week, Prof. Ward brought his students for a behind the scenes tour of the Warren Lasch Conservation Lab. The facility is home to the famous C.S.S Hunley, a Civil War submarine rediscovered and salvaged from the Charleston harbor, which is currently undergoing conservation and research work at the lab.
Warren Lasch Lab is currently looking for student interns with an interest in conservation to take part in interpretation, archaeology, CAD drawing,and 3-D surface mapping projects.



Prof. Butler’s Building Pathology class took a trip to Historic Charleston Foundation’s Salvage and Sustainability Warehouse on upper Meeting Street, where Will Hamilton gave an introduction and a tour of the facility and artifacts. The warehouse holds a collection of rare pieces reserved for research and study, including a colonial stone mile marker, Greek Revival pocket door with original hardware, and interior paneling. The rest of the collection is for sale to home owners and contractors looking for period accurate pieces to install in their projects. The collection includes mantels, paneling, wood trim, plaster, tin signs and ceiling tiles, windows, doors, and even historic hardware, or varying conditions.

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2014 Albert Simons Medal of Excellence Awards: A memorable evening honoring some of the preservation greats

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Simons Medal of Excellence, Richard Jenrette and Thomas Gordon Smith! Mr. Jenrette is the founder of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and has worked tirelessly at saving and restoring historic buildings. Prof. Smith brought the classical and traditional architecture approach to the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, making it the primary school for the study of classical architecture. The Historic Preservation and Community Planning Department is very proud to honor these men who have greatly impacted our field of study.
Mr. Jenrette receiving his award from Dean Valerie Morris of the School of the Arts:

Prof. Ralph Muldrow giving an intriguing introduction to this year’s recipients and the history of the Simons Medal:

Prof. Smith receiving his medal:


Lastly, a few views from the reception in Randolph Hall:


Celebrating 25 Years of Landscape Conservation in the ACE Basin

Last weekend Prof. Butler attended a luncheon and lecture held at Nemours Plantation, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a ground breaking conservation initiative to preserve and protect cultural landscapes and wildlife in the Ashley, Combahee, and Edisto River region of Beaufort and Colleton Counties, better known as the ACE Basin. In the 1980s, several non profits, public entities, and private owners partnered to protect the Lowcountry’s marshlands and historic sites from development using conservation easements and other means. Through their efforts, over 200,000 acres are protected today. The former rice plantations and other sites comprising the ACE Basin are a refuge for migrating birds and other wildlife, and have several layers of important cultural history, not unlike Hobcaw Barony a hundred miles to the north that Prof. Stiefel, Ward, and Muldrow are working to document.





A Cultural Landscape Study for Hobcaw Barony

Professors Ward, Stiefel, and Muldrow are in the beginning stages of creating a Cultural Landscapes Report for the 16,000 acre cultural landscape in Georgetown County known as Hobcaw Barony. Managed by the Belle W. Baruch Foundation, the site is comprised of several colonial and antebellum plantation sites and is today operated as wildlife refuge. The study will be a comprehensive analysis of human effects on the Lowcountry site over time, from the Native American and pre-contact period to the present. Architectural analysis of vernacular buildings with draw upon Muldrow’s earlier measured drawings and reports from 2003.

To learn more about this fantastic cultural landscape and future research work, please visit the Hobcaw Barony webpage here:


_DPW6568 20110224 1306 _HDR d v 3-4-2011 SM Hobcaw Barony - Vereen House