2012 awards to be announced January 26 at Preservation Society Annual Meeting, sponsored by Carriage Properties, LLC

A walk through Charleston’s neighborhoods provides the best view of the city’s treasure trove of painstakingly preserved homes, a front-row vantage point of the splendid architectural and design details of America’s most celebrated historic district. And by foot it is also easier to spot Carolopolis Award winners, indicated by salad-plate-size circular plaques assertingCarolopolis Condita AD 1670. To the newcomer, the meaning and significance of the markers are all but lost, given the Latin inscription and lack of clarifying information. But to the informed eye, the Carolopolis Awardannounces Charleston’s most triumphant examples of preservation according to America’s pivotal preservation society.

About the Awards

Awarding excellence in preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and new construction

Since 1953 the Preservation Society of Charleston—America’s oldest community-based preservation organization—has granted the Carolopolis Award to recognize outstanding preservation achievement in the city of Charleston. Homes that have undergone alteration in the past three years are eligible for awards in the following four categories:

  • Exterior Preservation: measures that sustained the existing form, integrity and materials of an historic property.
  • Exterior Restoration: accurate depiction of the form, features and character of a property as it appeared at a particular period of time.
  • Exterior Rehabilitation: enabling a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations and additions while preserving those portions or features that convey its historical, cultural or architectural values.
  • New Construction: construction of a new building that is architecturally and aesthetically an asset within the context of the existing streetscape and neighborhood.

The Carolopolis Awards are presented each year in January, at the Preservation Society’s annual meeting. The 2012 meeting, proudly sponsored by Carriage Properties, LLC, will be held on January 26 at the beautifully preserved Riviera Theatre at Charleston Place Hotel.

America’s First Preservation Society

The Preservation Society of Charleston was founded in 1920 by Miss Susan Pringle Frost and a small group of like-minded Charlestonians successfully fighting to stop the demolition of the 1820 Joseph Manigault House. Today the Society has over 2,000 members from South Carolina and 35 other states who are concerned about the future of Charleston’s historic districts. The Society is a volunteer organization administered by a volunteer board and six paid staff members. Board members chair committees made up of volunteers who work with the staff to advocate for the preservation of Charleston’s architectural heritage.

In recognition of its efforts, the American Institute of Architects presented the Preservation Society of Charleston with its 1996 Institute Honor Award. The award recognized the Society for “being as much a part of Charleston, South Carolina, history as protector of it, this Society has wrought a standard of commitment to community befitting the beauty and rich legacy of the city it has served for over 75 years.”

The Distinctive Circular Seal

The Carolopolis Award is a slightly modified reproduction of the seal of the City of Charleston. The word Carolopolis comes from the original name of the city, which was derived from a combination of the word Carolus (Latin for Charles) and Polis (Greek for City), thus Charles City and later Charleston. The words Condita A.D. 1670 refer to the Latin word for founding, and to the date of Charleston’s founding. The other date on the award refers to the year in which the award was given.

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