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historic charleston sc

Learn About Preservation Easements

for Historic Charleston SC


The Preservation Society of Charleston has been accepting preservation easements since 1978 and currently holds over 75 exterior as well as numerous interior easements. The Preservation Society accepts exterior façade and interior easements on properties in Charleston and areas beyond the city.  


What is a preservation easement? 

A preservation easement is a legal agreement made between a property owner and a qualified easement holding organization. The easement protects the architectural integrity of a property by restricting future alterations and uses of the property. Preservation easements can be donated to protect both the exterior and interior of a qualifying property. The easement deed is a perpetual, private preservation agreement that guarantees that the property owner will not, without the approval of the Preservation Society of Charleston:

  • alter the architectural character of the structures on the site,

  • change the use or density of the property,

  • construct new buildings or disturb archaeological features, or

  • subdivide the property.


What are the benefits of donating an easement? 

An easement on a certified historic structure allows the owner to protect their property in perpetuity while qualifying for Federal tax deductions. The value of the deduction is determined by an appraisal and calculated by using the property owner’s federal tax rate.


How does a property qualify for a tax deduction?

To qualify for a tax deduction as defined by the IRS the property must be considered a “certified historic structure.” The IRS definition of a certified historic structure includes any building, structure, or land area that is:

  • Listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places, or

  • Located in a National Register of Historic Places-listed historic district and certified by the U.S. Department of the Interior as being historically significant to the district.

The Preservation Society is available to assist property owners with this process. To apply for certification, the Preservation Society will complete a Part I of the Historic Preservation Certification Application. The Part 1 of the application is sent to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which forwards it to the National Park Service, which issues certification on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The property must be certified by the National Park Service prior to conveying the easement, or before the owner files a Federal income tax return for the year in which the easement was granted. 


What is the donation process?

  • A person certified to appraise properties for easement purposes appraises the property.
  • A draft easement document is prepared by the property owner’s attorney and reviewed by both the property owner and the Preservation Society. Each easement document is tailored to the needs of the individual property owner.

  • There are fees associated with granting an easement based on the complexity of the property.

  • The easement document is recorded at the Charleston County Register of Means Conveyance (RMC) office.

  • For more information on preservation easements visit the National Park Service website at

  • For additional information regarding the Preservation Society’s preservation easement program, contact Robert Gurley, Assistant Director, at (843) 722-4630, fax (843) 723-4381, or e-mail at rgurley@


Current Easements

Old and Historic District, Charleston, SC

55 Ashley Avenue
115 Ashley Avenue
72 Beaufain Street (covenants)
74 Beaufain Street (covenants)
12 Bee Street
7 Broad Street (exterior and interior)
9 Broad Street (exterior and interior)
152 Broad Street
164 Broad Street
173 – 175 Broad Street
180 Broad Street
96 Bull Street
220 Calhoun Street
6 Chalmers Street
28 Chapel Street
30 Chapel Street
45 Chapel Street
33 Charlotte Street
43 Charlotte Street
35 Church Street
45 Church Street (exterior and interior)
47 Church Street (exterior and interior)
86 Church Street
143-145 Church Street
159 East Bay Street
186 - 192 East Bay Street
297-299 East Bay Street
301 East Bay Street (interior and exterior easements; also includes dependency building)
10 Elliott Street
4 George Street
64 Hasell Street
87 Hasell Street
10 King Street
19 King Street

27 King Street
33 King Street
38 King Street
40 King Street
46 King Street
313 King Street & 313 King Street (kitchen building) 344 King Street

350 King Street
360 King Street
375 King Street
409 King/4 Vanderhorst Street 415-417 King Street

26 Lamboll Street
28 Lamboll Street (exterior and interior) 29 Legare Street (exterior and interior) 95 Lenwood Blvd
44 Line Street
16 Meeting Street (exterior and interior) 59 Meeting Street (exterior and interior) 252 Meeting Street (covenants)
298 Meeting Street
300 Meeting Street
20 New Street
3 Orange Street
9 Orange Street (exterior and interior) 11 Orange Street
2 Pitt Street (covenants)
4 Pitt Street (covenants)
92 Radcliffe Street
105 Rutledge Avenue
39 Society Street
18 South Adger’s Wharf
20 South Battery
52 South Battery
61 & 61 1⁄2 Tradd Street
84 Tradd Street
2 Unity Alley (interior and exterior)
65 Vanderhorst Street
30 Vendue Range
89 Warren Street
6 Wentworth Street

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