Pass an Archaeological Ordinance in Charleston
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The city of Charleston, South Carolina currently has no city-wide archaeological ordinance, which means that any time a construction site is cleared on the peninsula, hundreds of years' worth of history is carted off without archaeological monitoring or study.
The hotel construction site at 404 King Street was once the North city gate where Charles Towne surrendered to the British in 1780. Before construction began, an enormous hole was dug to make way for the hotel's subterranean parking garage. All those hundreds of tons of dirt were hauled away with only limited archaeological monitoring. We will never get what was missed back. Context is everything. Preservation matters.
[To read more about this issue, please see these two recent articles from the Post and Courier: Charleston Losing its Hidden History ; Dig Deeply to Enhance Preservation ; One of Charleston's Most Intriguing Archaeological Sites Might be Lost Forever]
Great cities are like tapestries - their history, character and individuality are the fabric from which they are woven. Charleston's buildings and urban port setting provide a wonderful sense of place; their beauty and scale inspire and connect us to our past while helping to shape our future. Preservation, we believe, ensures that Charleston maintains a balance between its role as one of America's most important architectural resources and a real, living city with a great quality of life for its residents. What is above ground only tells a fraction of our shared history; there is so much more to discover under the ground -- but only if we are able to investigate it in a meaningful way.
Help us urge Mayor Tecklenburg and Charleston City Council to put an archaeological ordinance in place that requires these large scale developments to carry out archaeology before they begin construction. We can't -- and won't --stop the development of the city, but we can at least learn from what remains behind before it is lost forever.
Sign this petition to make your voice heard on this important issue. We're ready for action -- are you?
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