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Title Civic Services Committee Papers
Object Type Series
Scope & Content 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 also addressed the conditions of civilian life in Charleston during World War II. Founding members included Robert N.S. Whitelaw, Samuel G. Stoney, E. Milby Burton, John Mead Howells, Homer M. Pace, Albert Simons, and Alice Ravenel Huger Smith.

Two committees preceded the CSC: the Charleston Regional Planning Advisory Committee (1941) and the Civic Arts Committee (Feb. 1942). The Civic Services Committee began to meet regularly in June 1942.

The Civic Services Committee took the lead in addressing citizens' concerns about architectural preservation. 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.

It was also interested in the housing shortage caused by the influx of temporary workers for shipbuilding and other military activities during World War II. A subcommittee, the Community Development Council, grew out of this interest and was formed to assist with planning for the needs of the growing wartime population and to determine future needs and solutions of post-war problems, one of which was housing.

After the war, the efforts of the Civic Services Committee blossomed into the new and separately established Historic Charleston Foundation (April 25, 1947).

Altogether, the records provide insight into Charleston civilian life during World War II and citizen participation, and reveal the early development of Charleston's pioneering architectural preservation program.

This collection consists of the records of the Civic Services Committee, including meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches news clippings, manuscripts, and other documents.

See Container List for description of folder contents. Of note are the following items:

Report entitled "Planning in Charleston" (1945) outlining early urban planning efforts in Charleston and issues facing the CSC; Kenneth Chorley's "The Challenge to Charleston"; report to the CSC dated 12/12/1946 by Mr. Whitelaw outlining the need to create a preservation organization; the report of the Committee to Consider Arrangement of Tours of Old Houses for HCF (4/15/1947) outlining the plan to conduct the first tours; various CSC Speaker's Bureau speeches; publication of This Is Charleston including the original architectural survey that inspired the book; publication of Charleston Grows; correspondence from consultants Frederick Law Olmsted and George W. Simons; correspondence from George W. Simons, Jr.; Hermann Herrey articles about city planning; planning documents for the Charleston Metropolitan Area Exhibit at the Gibbes Art Gallery rotunda; drafts of articles for a 2-page special feature on the This Is Charleston exhibition--"Charleston Architectural Story" by Samuel Gaillard Stoney, "The Development of Streets and Boroughs in Charleston" by Alice R. Huger Smith, "The National Value of Charleston as a City" by John Mead Howells; planning documents for the publication of Charleston Grows by the Carolina Art Association; Community Development Council files regarding wartime housing issues, including scripts for radio shows ("The Man of the Hour Program"); various reports about parking; Charleston post-war planning publications including "Charleston's Target for Tomorrow" and various Charleston Chamber of Commerce reports; news clippings from the 1940s about Charleston's architecture, historic importance, defense effort during WWII, cultural and educational institutions, public welfare and social institutions, churches, population, housing and rent control, racial issues, etc.

Photographs from the architectural inventory in Folder 9 include:
Nationally important churches: St. Michael's Church, St. Phillip's Church, First Baptist Church, and Chapel of the Orphan House.
Nationally important buildings: public, industrial. Photographs of Courthouse, Old Exchange and Customs House, City Hall, Fireproof Building, College of Charleston, Marine Hospital, South Carolina Society Hall, and Bennett's Rice Mill. Nationally Important dwellings: 54 Hasell Street, 71 Church Street, 59 Meeting Street, 69 Church Street, 14 Legare Street, 87 Church Street, 34 Meeting Street, 106 Tradd Street, 8 South Battery, 27 King Street, 64 South Battery, 51 Meeting Street, and 350 Meeting Street. Photographs of buildings in Old and Historic Charleston: Tradd Street, 69 Church Street, 87 Church Street, 59 Meeting Street, 95 East Bay Street, 101 East Bay Street, Vanderhorst Row (East Bay Street), 4-6 Court House Square, 50-52 King Street, 3 Atlantic Street, 21 King Street, Dock Street Theater, First Baptist Church, St. Michael's Church, St Philip's Church, Court House, Exchange building, and South Carolina Society Hall. Photographs of buildings in the Mazyck Lands: 4 Magazine Street, 21 Archdale Street, 19 Archdale Street, St. John's Church, Unitarian Church, and the Gaol. Photographs of buildings in Rhettsbury: 37 Hasell Street, Charleston Hotel, Market Hall, St. Andrews Church, St. Johannes Church, St. Mary's Church, Centenary Church, and the Beth Elohim Synagogue. Photographs of buildings in Ansonborough: St. Stephen's Church, 14 George Street, 30 Anson Street, and 71 Anson Street. Photographs of buildings in Gen. Christopher Gadsden's Lands or Middlesex: 55 Laurens Street, 53 Laurens Street, Wall Street, 833 East Bay Street, 329 East Bay Street, 321 East Bay Street, and 330 East Bay Street. Photographs of buildings in Mazyckborough: 20 Charlotte Street, 14 Charlotte Street, and Gas Works on Charlotte Street. Photographs of buildings in Wragg Lands and Wragg Pasture Lands: Old Bethel Church, 56 St. Philip Street, 58 George Street, 214 Calhoun Street, 6 St. Philip Street, 220 Calhoun Street, 9 Liberty Street, and 12-16 Beaufain. Photographs of buildings in Wraggborough: 4 John Street, Aiken's Row, Wragg Mall, 48 Elizabeth Street, 34 Chapel Street, Mary Street, and Second Presbyterian Church.
Photographs of buildings in Hampstead: St. John's Church, 2 Amherst Street, 105 Drake Street, and Bay Street. Photographs of buildings in Glebe Lands: Grace Church, 6 Glebe Street, Mt. Zion Church, 86-88 Wentworth, 17-19 St. Philip, 10 Coming Street, and 54 Beaufain Street. Photographs of buildings in Free School Lands: College of Charleston Library and Main Building, and Green Street. Photographs of buildings in Harleston: Bethel Church, 20 Montagu Street, 93 Ashley Avenue, 1 Lucas Street, 60 Montagu Street, 56 Pitt Street, 28 Montagu Street, 54 Smith Street, 94 Rutledge Avenue, 93 Rutledge Avenue, and 128 Wentworth Street. Photographs of buildings in Radcliffeborough and Elliott Lands [Elliottborough]: 6 Thomas Street, 47 Radcliffe Street, St. Paul's, 57 Radcliffe Street, and Radcliffe Street. Photographs of buildings in Cannonsboro [Cannonborough]: 178 Ashley Avenue, 192 Ashley Avenue, 173 Rutledge Avenue, 172 Rutledge Avenue, and 185 Rutledge Avenue. Photographs of the alteration of old houses into multiple dwellings, and of new buildings on old garden sites: 6 Montagu Street, 60 Meeting Street, 32 Pitt Street, 86 Anson Street, 10 Meeting Street, 48 Bull Street, 22-4 Thomas Street, and Meeting Street (house numbers not indicated). Photographs of the side piazza: 60 Church Street and 89 Beaufain Street. Photographs of the rehabilitation of old houses in Hasell Street ( 5 photographs of unidentified buildings). Photographs of existing and possible parks: White Point Gardens, Washington Square, Colonial Common "The Pond" [Colonial Lake], Hampton Park, Wragg Square, Wragg Mall, St. Peters Cemetery, Westminster Cemetery, Quaker Graveyard, and St. Andrews Hall site.
Photographs of buildings destroyed in 1941: 450 King Street, Horlbeck Alley, 7-9-11 Beaufain Street, and 10 Charlotte Street. (Also includes 5 photographs of Meeting Street buildings between Charlotte and Henrietta streets .) Photographs of commercial and industrial buildings (addresses not indicated): warehouse, bank, office, dwelling and shop combinations, merchants offices, rice mills, apothecary shop, and 313 King Street clothing store. Photographs of contrasting before and after: 70 King Street, 50 and 54 Beaufain Street, and east Logan Street. Photographs of the "metropolitan pattern": subdivision architecture, government housing, defense housing, demountable houses, old plantations, trailer camp, and workers cottages, and R.F.D.
Creator/Author Civic Services Committee
Start Date 1939
End Date 1949
Subjects Civic Services Committee--Records and correspondence
Historic Charleston Foundation--Records and correspondence
Historic Charleston Foundation--By-laws
Historic Charleston Foundation--Public relations
Historic Charleston Foundation--Planning
Historic Charleston Foundation--Constitution
Historic Charleston Foundation--Tours
Civic Services Committee
Civic Services Committee--Planning
Civic Services Committee--Membership
Civic Services Committee--Finance
Civic Services Committee--Public relations
Civic Services Committee--Exhibitions
Carolina Art Association--Records and correspondence
Carolina Art Association--Exhibitions
Carolina Art Association--Finance
Carolina Art Association--Membership
Gibbes Art Gallery--Exhibitions
Gibbes Museum of Art--Exhibitions
Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston, S.C.)--Records and correspondence
Community Development Council
Community Development Council--Records and correspondence
Community Development Council--Public relations
Community Development Council--Membership
Community Development Council--Directories
Community Development Council--Planning
Architecture--South Carolina - Charleston
Architecture--South Carolina--Charleston--Exhibitions
Architecture--Conservation and restoration--South Carolina--Charleston
Historic preservation--South Carolina--Charleston
Historic preservation--South Carolina--Charleston--Finance
Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Historic buildings--South Carolina--Charleston--Valuation
Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration--South Carolina--Charleston
Church buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Church property--South Carolina--Charleston
Architectural surveys--South Carolina--Charleston
Architectural surveys--South Carolina--Charleston--Planning
Architectural surveys--South Carolina--Charleston--Exhibitions
Charleston (S.C.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Charleston (S.C.)--Maps
Charleston (S.C.)--Maps, Topographic
Charleston (S.C.)--Race relations
Charleston (S.C.)--Census, 1940
Charleston (S.C.)--Description and travel
Charleston (S.C.)--History
Charleston (S.C.)--Economic conditions
Charleston (S.C.)--Intellectual life
Charleston (S.C.)--Politics and government
Charleston (S.C.)--Population
Charleston (S.C.)--Social conditions
Charleston (S.C.)--Social life and customs
Charleston (S.C.)--Churches
Charleston (S.C.)--Religious life and customs
Charleston (S.C.). Housing Authority
Charleston (S.C.). Housing Authority--Management
Charleston County (S.C.). Board of Adjustment--Membership
Charleston County (S.C.). Board of Architectural Review--Membership
Charleston County (S.C.). Planning and Zoning Commission--Membership
City planning--South Carolina--Charleston
City planning--South Carolina--Charleston--Finance
Urban beautification--South Carolina--Charleston
Roadside improvement--South Carolina--Charleston
Housing--South Carolina - Charleston
Public housing--South Carolina--Charleston
Waterfronts--South Carolina--Charleston--Planning
Public land sales--South Carolina--Charleston
Transportation--South Carolina--Charleston
Transportation--United States
Automobile parking--South Carolina--Charleston
Automobile parking--United States
Parking facilities--South Carolina--Charleston
Traffic surveys--South Carolina--Charleston
Traffic surveys--Florida--Tampa
Traffic congestion--South Carolina--Charleston
Traffic violations--South Carolina--Charleston
Traffic regulations--South Carolina--Charleston
Zoning--South Carolina--Charleston
Zoning--South Carolina--Charleston--Public opinion
Zoning law--South Carolina--Charleston
Zoning boards--South Carolina--Charleston
Bills, Legislative--South Carolina--Charleston
Bills, Legislative--United States
Metropolitan areas--South Carolina--Charleston--Exhibitions
Political participation--South Carolina--Charleston
Social participation--South Carolina--Charleston
Social surveys--South Carolina--Charleston
Land use--South Carolina - Charleston
Public buildings--South Carolina--Charleston
Parks--South Carolina--Charleston
Playgrounds--South Carolina--Charleston
Recreation--Planning--South Carolina--Charleston
Playgrounds--Planning--South Carolina--Charleston
War memorials--South Carolina--Charleston
Statues--South Carolina--Charleston
Vehicles--South Carolina--Charleston
Government property--South Carolina--Charleston
Merchants--South Carolina--Charleston
Real property--Valuation--South Carolina--Charleston
Labor--South Carolina--Charleston--20th century
Streets--South Carolina--Charleston
Slums--South Carolina--Charleston
Boroughs--South Carolina--Charleston
Pedestrian areas--South Carolina--Charleston--Planning
Public health--South Carolina--Charleston
African Americans--South Carolina--Charleston--Social conditions
African Americans--Recreation
Taxation--South Carolina--Charleston County
Municipal budgets--South Carolina--Charleston
African Americans--Education--South Carolina--Charleston
Charities--South Carolina--Charleston
Social service--South Carolina - Charleston
Refuse and refuse disposal--South Carolina--Charleston
Street signs--South Carolina--Charleston
Military education--South Carolina--Charleston
Roads--Design and construction--South Carolina--Charleston
Motion picture audiences--South Carolina--Charleston
Industrial chimneys--South Carolina - Charleston
Orphanages--South Carolina--Charleston
Jews--South Carolina--Charleston
Segregation--South Carolina--Charleston
Civil defense--South Carolina--Charleston
Education--South Carolina--Charleston
Public welfare--South Carolina--Charleston
Social institutions--South Carolina--Charleston
Municipal government--South Carolina--Charleston
Music patronage--South Carolina--Charleston
Gardens--South Carolina--Charleston
Victory gardens--South Carolina--Charleston
Fire insurance--Rates--South Carolina--Charleston
Property insurance--South Carolina--Charleston
Synagogues--South Carolina--Charleston
United States--History--1933-1945
United States--History--1945-1953
World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief--United States
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects--United States
World War, 1939-1945--Monuments
Briggs, Loutrel Winslow, 1893-1977--Correspondence
Simons, George W.--Correspondence
Feiss, Carl--Correspondence
Frost, Susan Pringle--Correspondence
Howells, John Mead, 1868-1959--Correspondence
Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1865-1952--Correspondence
McCormack, Helen Gardner, 1903-1974--Correspondence
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1870-1957--Correspondence
Simons & Lapham, architects (Firm)--Correspondence
Simons, Albert, 1890-1980--Correspondence
Stoney, Samuel Gaillard, b. 1891--Correspondence
Whitelaw, Robert N. S., 1905---Correspondence
Search Terms World War II
Lowcountry Digital Library
Physical Description 1.5 lin. ft. (4 boxes, 62 folders)
Related Records Show Related Records...
Date(s) of Accumulation 1939-1949
Date(s) of Creation ~1939-1949
Object ID # HCF.001.
Containers This Is Charleston
Indexes and Catalogs
Minutes, etc.
CSC History, Objectives, Background Materials
Committee Members
Committee Employees
Committee Memoranda and Correspondence
"Planning in Charleston"
Frederick Law Olmsted Report
Architectural Inventory of Charleston
Charleston Area Plats and Municipal Data
George Simons's Report
Review of Committee Work Submitted to Carnegie Foundation
Report of CSC to Rockefeller Foundation
Miscellaneous CSC Reports/Statements
CSC Speaker's Bureau
Rotary Club Commendation
This Is Charleston: Exhibit
CSC Director's Correspondence
Helen McCormack's Correspondence, etc.
McCormack's Information Sources
Olmsted's Correspondence with CSC
Frances Benjamin Johnston Correspondence
George W. Simons Correspondence
Simons's Jacksonville City Plan
Hermann Herrey City Planning Articles
List of HABS Charleston Photographs
Charleston Metropolitan Area Exhibit at Gibbes Gallery
Graphic Survey Subcommittee Meeting Transcription
"Charleston Grows" Committee
Community Development Council: Members
This Is Charleston: Publicity
Community Development Council: Correspondence and Reports
Community Development Council: Housing Publicity
Community Development Council: Radio Shows
Off-Street Parking Study: Reports, Minutes, Notes, Instructions
Off-Street Parking: Presentation of Plan to Charleston City Council
Off-Street Parking: Report of the CSC on Off-Street Parking to City Council
Off-Street Parking: Correspondence and Reports
Off-Street Parking: Merchants Committee Correspondence and Poll
Off-Street Parking: Metropolitan Council Residential Study
Off-Street Parking: Metropolitan Council Street Survey
Off-Street Parking and Traffic: Miscellaneous Reports & Other Study Materials
Off-Street Parking/Transportation: Publicity
Boy Scout Traffic Study
War Memorials: Committee
War Memorials: Publicity
Road Conservation and Beautification
Legislation: The George Bill
Zoning Ordinances
Post-War Planning
Misc. CSC Files: Objections to Sale of Waterfront Property (S. Adgers Wharf)
Misc. CSC Files: Charleston Background Information
Misc. CSC Files: City Government Structure
Misc. CSC Files: Charleston During War Years
Misc. CSC Files: Housing in Charleston
Misc. CSC Files: Rent and Rent Control
Misc. CSC Files: Rural SC Events
Misc. CSC Files: Fiscal Reports
Misc. CSC Files: Racial Issues
Misc. CSC Files: Hospitals/Public Health
Creation of Historic Charleston Foundation