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News & Events Archive


2015 MSHP Awards Recipients

Amber Anderson and Laura Lee Worrell are the recipients of this year's MSHP awards! 

Amber Anderson and Robert Gurley

Robert Gurley on behalf of the Preservation Society of Charleston presented Amber with the Best Thesis Award for her paper, “The Analysis of a Secondary Space: Bathrooms at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.” By grappling with mundane spaces at an exceptional place, this thesis raised important questions and conveyed insights that have national implications.

Laura Lee Worrell and Virginia Lane

Virginia Lane, a member of the Board of Trustees of Historic Charleston Foundation and the Board of Regents of Mount Vernon, presented the Ann Pamela Cunningham Award to Laura Lee Worrell. This award, sponsored by Historic Charleston Foundation, is named for one of preservation’s great achievers and is given annually to the graduating student whose work has occupied most consistently the intersection of person, personality, and purposefulness that has long animated historic preservation.

Introducing the MSHP Class of 2015

2015 Graduates

Front Row: Laura Lee Worrell, Katie Dykens, Jackie Don, Shannon Devlin, Amber Anderson, Sarah Sanders

Back Row: Justin Schwebler, Melanie Weston, Frankie Pinto, Claire Achtyl, Alison Dunleavy, Taylor Johnston, Lauren Hoopes

MSHP First Years Conclude Studio Course with Juried Presentation of Infill Design

For the final project in the Preservation Studio course led by Professor Amalia Leifeste, the students were tasked with designing a building to occupy the empty lot on the corner of King and Radcliffe Streets. The First Years presented their proposals to a panel of local architects and preservationists, including: Robert Gurley of Preservation Society of Charleston, Ralph Muldrow of the College of Charleston's Historic Preservation & Community Planning Program, Adrienne Jacobsen of Keyes Glenn Architects, Ashley Jennings of - Architecture + Design, Jay White of Liollio Architecture, and Chris Bonner of b STUDIO.

MSHP Students Attend Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation Conference

Jessica Fortney Presenting

Jessica Fortney represented the first year class and their work on Pompion Hill at the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation Conference this year. The class completed measured drawings and condition reports for the chapel and all visible stones in the graveyard. The class also did selective repairs on weakened gravestones.

The second year class was represented by Claire Achtyl, Jackie Don, Frankie Pinto, and Melanie Weston. The group discussed their work-in-progress on the Lopez section at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) Reform Jewish Congregation of Charleston cemetery on Coming Street in Charleston.

Fourth Installment of Voices in Preservation Lecture Series with Antoinette Lee

Wednesday, April 15th at 5:00 PM at Trinity United Methodist Church, Charleston, SC

MSHP Faculty Member named Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America, Inc.

Adjunct professor Elizabeth Ryan of Alice L. Patrick & Associates has passed all required tests and reviews to be named a certified member of the Appraisers Association of America, Inc. (AAA).  This is the highest level of membership offered by AAA and is reserved for those appraisers with the most extensive level of expertise, education, and experience.

“Founded in 1949, the Appraisers Association of America, Inc. is the oldest non-profit professional association of personal property appraisers with over 700 members in cities across the country as well as in Canada, Europe and Asia. As one of the three US-based appraisal organizations recognized by the IRS, the Appraisers Association offers one of the most important credentials for personal property appraisers in the country. A rigorous admissions process ensures the highest standards of ethics, conduct and professionalism; and required continuing professional development means that every Accredited Member and Certified Member is up-to-date with all of the latest government regulations and market trends.” (  


Presentation Cover

Professor Leifeste's NCPTT Presentation Available Online

The National Center for Preservation Training and Technology in Nachitoches, Louisiana has posted webcasts of Professor Leifeste's July 2014 lecture on MSHP's signature course Investigation, Documentation, Conservation.  See the link that follows to read Amalia's paper "The Documentation Course: Beyond Drawing" and watch her presenation:

Students at Work

First Year Students to Document The Progressive Club

The Progressive Club on Johns Island in Charleston County, now a roofless ruin, is the only remaining structure in South Carolina built to house a “Citizenship School.”  The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its role as a Citizenship School and for its association with events and person important in the Civil Rights Movement.  Organized in 1948 by Esau Jenkins, the Progressive Club sponsored adult education classes and workshops that empowered African-American citizens to register, vote and become full participants in the political processes of their communities.  The curriculum for the Citizenship School developed through the Progressive Club served as a model for similar efforts through the South in the late 1950s and 1960s. 

Two panels from Esau Jenkin’s iconic 1956 VW bus, one of which features the hand-painted slogan “Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive” will be featured in an exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African America History and Culture.

During the spring semester First Year Students in the Historic Preservation Studio will document the ruins of the Progressive Club and evaluate the range of options for its preservation working with members of the Jenkins family and the board of the Progressive Club.  Professor Amalia Leifeste leads this class.

Historic Cabin

MSHP Students Win Honorable Mention in National Competition

The MSHP class of 2015 has won an honorable mention in the Historic American Landscapes Survey 2014 HALS Challenge.  HALS sponsors this annual competition to encourage people around the country to complete and submit a short format history for historic landscape(s) of their choice that fit an annual theme.

The theme of the 2014 HALS Challenge was "Documenting Landscapes of the New Deal."  MSHP student, working in teams, submitted documentation for four South Carolina State Parks acquired and constructed during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration, a federal New Deal agency.  Judges for the competition commended MSHP students for "adding greatly to historic landscape scholarship and the WPA in South Carolina."  MSHP entry will be accessioned by the Library of Congress where is will be available on line and maintained in perpetuity.

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) mission is to record historic landscapes in the United States and its territories to serve as tangible evidence of our nation’s heritage and development through measured drawings and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large-format black and white photographs and color photographs for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress.

 Students at Work

(Photo courtesy of The Post & Courier.)

MSHP Program to Investigate Section of Colonial City Wall

MSHP students and faculty will team with the City of Charleston's Walled City Task Force to investigate a portion of the city's eighteenth-century wall.   During the run-up to the Seven Years War, Charleston enlarged and improved the system of wall and bastions that had protected the city since its founding in 1680.  Recent research suggests that a section of wall that extended from modern East Bay to Meeting Street in what is now White Point Gardens is part of the mid-eighteenth century expansion of the city's wall.  Professor Scott Harris of the College of Charleston's Geology Department will investigate a portion of the wall with ground penetrating radar before excavation of a section of the wall begins.  MSHP Second Year student Justin Schwebler is exploring the use of Bermuda stone in Charleston's early buildings and will be paying close attention to see if the large quantities of Bermuda Stone the city imported were laid up in this section of the wall.  Click on the following links to see news coverage of the recent excavation: The Post & Courier,, and The Royal Gazette.

Charleston is unique as the only walled city in English North America.  This research project is being led by Martha Zierden of the Charleston Museum and Katherine Pemberton of Historic Charleston Foundation as part of the continuing effort to identify and interpret surviving section of the city wall. []

Fort Sumter National Monument

MSHP Students to Develop Treatment for Fort Sumter National Monument

The Warren Lasch Conservation Center [WLCC]  is joining forces with the Clemson University/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation to teach an elective course in the conservation of metal objects embedded in historic masonry and concrete fortifications.  The class will focus on the stabilization and conservation of the embedded metal at Battery Jasper located at Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) on Sullivans Island.  Students will work in tandem with conservators at the lab to assess, analysis and develop treatment protocols for embedded metals.  Subjects covered in the course include: conditions assessments, non-destructive techniques of materials analysis, and in situ treatment options that meet the standards of the American Institute for Conservation [AIC].

Student Group Photo

MSHP Students Develop Plan to Preserve Catherine Lopez Monument in Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Cemetery

Students enrolled in HP 8110: Advanced Conservation Science Laboratory in spring 2015 will focus their investigations and field research on architectural stone conservation.  Their case study for the semester will be the David Lopez section of the cemetery of Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) on Coming Street and on the Catherine Lopez monument in particular. The class will apply skills in documentation, analysis, and treatment of historic sites and develop a conservation and treatment plan for the Catherine Lopez monument. A final report to our clients is scheduled at the end of the semester on Wednesday morning April 29 at 9:00.

Student Working in Cemetery

Professor Frances Ford to Present Conference Paper

Conservation Lecturer Frances Ford will head south in May to present a paper entitled The Relevance of Traditional Materials in Modern Conservation at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works when it convenes in Miami in mid May.  Ford's paper will focus on the sustainability of stone repairs made with traditional materials to historic cemetery memorials in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Fall 2014

Pompion Poster

First Year Students Tackle Documentation of Important Eighteenth-Century Church

From late August to the mid November, First Year Students in the MSHP program's signature course "Investigation, Documentation, Conservation" focused much of their attention on Pompion Hill Chapel, a small, brick eighteenth-century chapel of ease located within the Cooper River Rural Historic District in Berkeley County, South Carolina.  Completed in 1766, Pompion Hill Chapel is a National Historic Landmark whose interior contains one of the best-preserved and most ornate pulpits in the country.  In addition to thorough documentation and mapping of the chapel's site overlooking the Cooper River and its graveyard, MSHP students completed architectural documentation drawings of the chapel that will be used to support development of strategies to address soil subsidence and the threat that presents to the condition of this important building.  When completed, the drawings will become part of the Historic American Buildings Survey [HAPS] collection at the Library of Congress.

Alum Joe Reynolds is published

Congratulations to Joe Reynolds '12 on publication of his essay“Legal Implications of Protecting Historic Sites in Space,” in Archaeology and Heritage of the Human Movement into Space, Beth Laura O'Learyand P.J. Capelotti, eds. (New York: Springer, 2015). 

Reynolds Publication

Professor Leifeste Appointed to South Carolina State Review Board

Professor Leifeste

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has appointed has appointed Professor Amalia Leifeste to the South Carolina State Board of Review for the National Register of Historic Places.  This board is rresponsible for determining which historic sites, buildings and landscapes in South Carolina meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.   South Carolina state laws also give the Board authority to make decisions in specific situations involving local historic property tax incentives, state tax incentives, and state owned properties that are listed in the National Register.

Research Methods Class to Investigate Charleston's Historic Bay Street

During the fall semester First Year students enrolled in Katherine Pemberton's  Historical Research Methods class (HP 8090/ HSPV 809) will investigate the histories of fourteen properties along Charleston’s East Bay Street.  This “Bay Street”  was Charleston’s first street when English settlers relocated to the peninsula in 1680.  It fronted the Cooper River, and provided access to a natural deep harbor that was central to trade.  Within a few years, the “Bay Street” also formed the easternmost boundary for the brick portion of the wall that enclosed the city and protected it from attack.  Properties along East Bay were a witness to many important historical events among them the firing on Ft. Sumter in the spring of 1861.
Bat Street eventually became landlocked as wharves were constructed to the east and land between them filled, a process that extended to the north and to the south as the city grew.  The northernmost section of East Bay Street, now called Morrison Drive, is still at the forefront of the city’s expansion.   Properties along sections of East Bay Street will be researched not only for their individual stories but for what they collectively reveal about architectural changes and commercial growth in Charleston.
Students in this class will report their findings at a public forum in early December.  Their research reports generated archived at Historic Charleston Foundation.

Assistant Professor Leifeste in Louisiana

Student Group Photo

Professor Amalia Leifeste, seen here seated front and center with historic preservation faculty from across the country, presented a paper co-authored with her MSHP colleague Carter Hudgins entitled
 “The Documentation Course: Beyond Drawing” on July 15, 2014 at a conference on historic preservation education sponsored by the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) at historic Natchitoches, Louisiana.

MSHP Faculty Member Receives 2014 Governor’s Award

Craig M. Bennett, Jr., a structural engineer whose work focuses exclusively on historic structures and an adjunct professor in the MSHP program, received the 2014 Governor’s Award.   Sponsored by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, the Office of the Governor, and the SC Department of Archives and History, the Governor’s Award recognizes a lifetime of significant achievements or landmark efforts in the support of historic preservation.   

At a presentation on June 11 at the South Carolina Statehouse, Governor Haley’s presentation noted that Bennett has paired his expertise in structural engineering with his passion for historic structures over the course of a distinguished career.  Bennett has addressed a wide range of structural problems and deterioration mechanisms in buildings throughout the United States, most recently the historic lighthouses at Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout in North Carolina and Drayton Hall in South Carolina.  He has won a reputation for innovative solutions that prioritize preservation of form and material.  His lifelong contributions to preservation efforts in South Carolina as a professional, public servant, educator, and advocate of preservation efforts in South Carolina made him a deserving choice for this year’s Governor’s Award.

For more information about the award, click here.