The BAR was established in 1931 with the creation of the first preservation ordinance in the United States. As stated in the City of Charleston Zoning Ordinance, the purpose of the board is "the preservation and protection of the old historic or architecturally worthy structures and quaint neighborhoods which impart a distinct aspect to the city and which serve as visible reminders of the historical and cultural heritage of the city, the state, and the nation."
Within the historic districts (see BAR Boundaries Map (PDF)), the BAR reviews all new construction, alterations and renovations visible from the public right-of-way. The BAR reviews all demolitions of buildings 50 years of age or older on any structures south of Mount Pleasant Street, and any demolitions (regardless of age) within the Old and Historic District. In addition, the BAR has jurisdiction over all structures included on the Landmark Overlay Properties list.
In reviewing alterations to historic properties and proposed new structures, the BAR adheres to the principles established by the Charleston Standards. In addition, the Board has adopted several Policy Statements in reference to particular issues of review. Most minor alterations, such as painting, sitework, signage, repairs, etc, are typically reviewed by Staff and do not require full Board review. Appeals of those Staff decisions (posted weekly on this website) may be appealed within 15 calendar days.
To apply, submit a completed application, along with the required information and fee to the BAR/DRB counter of the: Permit Center 2 George Street 1st Floor Charleston, SC 29401
Applications are due by Noon on the deadline date. Further information regarding BAR applications, submittal requirements, meeting and fee schedules, general guidelines, etc, may be downloaded or may be found at the Permit Center.