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Historic Preservation: Research a Building

Resources in support of the Clemson University/College of Charleston joint Master's and Certificate programs in Historic Preservation

Local Building History Resources

Ina's List is a rich collection of building and history resources for Charleston, the Lowcountry, and South Carolina.

Research a Specific Building

Try to address as many of these as you can:

BUILDING NAME - a building may be known by several names (at once or over time), including variant names (Fallingwater or Falling Water), its street address (30 Rockefeller Plaza), or relationship to a client (Kaufmann Residence, Trump Tower, Wells Fargo Center). Collect them all!

BUILDING TYPE - often defined by function (which can change over time) but just as often defined by form or context

DATE - of design, start of construction, or construction completion; renovations & major changes

LOCATION/CONTEXT - urban, zero lot, suburban, rural, 

DESIGNER - may be a single individual, a collaborative, an architect or design firm, or multiple persons/firms over time.

PATRON/CLIENT - may be anonymous (vernacular), an individual, institution, government, or corporate entity

PERIOD/STYLE - periods are defined relationally as much as by time; styles can be revisited from one epoch to the next [e.g., classical, neoclassical, classical revival]

BUILDING TECHNOLOGY - construction method & materials, technological innovations or significance

SIGNIFICANCE - historical, technological, aesthetic, cultural: first, last, best, tallest, largest, worst, "only example of ___," etc.

CHANGES OVER TIME - alterations, additions, renovations, restorations, catastrophic damage, demolition

WHY WAS IT BUILT? - why was it built in this place, at this time, in this way? What were the alternatives?

WHO BENEFITED? WHO DID NOT?

WHAT IMPACT DID IT HAVE, AS PHYSICAL OBJECT AND AS MEANINGFUL (SYMBOLIC) OBJECT? at the time of construction and since

WHAT IMPACT DID IT HAVE ECONOMICALLY, SOCIALLY, POLITICALLY? - at the time of construction and since

WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT did it have initially and over time. What is its impact today?

WHY SHOULD WE CARE?