Board of Architectural Review (BAR)

coronavirusMODIFIED OPERATIONS UPDATE 

MARCH 31, 2020

City officials and staff are taking the following steps to protect public safety in response to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Updates will be provided as conditions evolve and under further guidance from Mayor Tecklenburg and City Council. 

BOARD MEETINGS:  BAR-L and BAR-S board meetings and public hearings have been cancelled through April 17, 2020. Applications will be deferred in the order received until the next available meeting agenda. 

STAFF REVIEW SUBMITTALS:  Simple requests such as painting, rot repair, and small modifications may be sent to permits@charleston-sc.gov and will be distributed to the Preservation Staff. Please include other applicable applications, photographs, and valuation of request.  The Permit Center is also conducting modified operations. 

BOARD SUBMITTALS:  Proposals for future BAR-L and BAR-S meeting agendas will only be accepted digitally and should be submitted directly to the appropriate Board Administrator via email. In PDF format, please submit an application, plans, valuation of the project, a completed Submittal Requirements checklist document (BAR-L or BAR-S). Please note, 50MB is the maximum file size that can be received via email; contact staff directly to discuss larger files.

BAR & DRB APPLICATIONS

OTHER ITEMS: For all other department related inquiries, please continue communicating with staff via email and phone.

The Department of Planning, Preservation & Sustainability will update our operations as conditions change. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this challenging period.

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BOARD OF ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW

The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) is comprised of two different Boards: BAR-Large (BAR-L) for large projects and BAR-Small (BAR-S) for small projects.

Regular Meetings

  • 4:30 p.m. 
  • BAR-L meetings - 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month
  • BAR-S meetings - 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month
  • Gaillard Center
    2 George Street
    1st Floor, Public Meeting Room (Room Number 1403)
    Charleston, SC 29401

Agendas & Minutes

BAR-L agendas are capped at 15 items and BAR-S agendas are capped at 8 items. Agendas are available prior to the meetings and results are available following the meetings.
Most recent agenda (PDF) | View all agendas and results

Overview

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.

Applying

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.

Related Documents

BAR Information

 BAR Applications

Submittal Requirements

Policy Statements