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Historic Charleston Foundation Tours of Homes

Color poster for the 6th annual tour of Charleston's historic houses in 1953.

One of the first fundraising programs developed by Historic Charleston Foundation after its incorporation in 1947 was its annual spring tours of historic houses, during which trained “hostesses” would guide visitors through several private homes in Charleston’s historic district. In addition to raising revenue to support Historic Charleston Foundation’s preservation efforts, the tours performed an educational function by presenting Charleston architecture and decorative arts to both visitors and residents alike. Tour publicity included posters, brochures, and guidebooks, and this collection features some of the promotional materials from the first ten years of the annual tours of houses. Of note are the guidebooks which contain not only house histories written by Samuel Gaillard Stoney, Jr., accompanied by photographs by numerous Charleston photographers, but also information about Historic Charleston Foundation and its activities, essays, maps, and advertisements for a variety of local businesses.

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Civic Services Committee Papers

Cover page of the first Historic Charleston Foundation promotional publication

The Civic Services Committee (CSC) (1942-1946) was the predecessor body to Historic Charleston Foundation. It was formed by the Carolina Art Association to address the need for architectural preservation and to implement city planning in response to growth. The Committee received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, which were used to retain Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to prepare a study that resulted in his report "Objectives for the Civic Services Committee." The funding was also used to compile an inventory of the city's architecture that resulted in the publication of the book This is Charleston. The Committee also addressed and conducted studies related to growth issues such as off-street parking and traffic. The collection spans the time period ca. 1939-1949, and consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, news clippings, manuscripts, and other documents. For ease of access, this collection can be browsed by folder.

Folder List

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