“We protected the library for another hundred, two hundred years.”
Climate Change Drives New Window Specs for Charleston Library
The city of Charleston successfully balances historical community preservation with building codes and safety. Recently, however, globally intensifying weather events encouraged the Board of Architectural Review to tilt the scales towards safety for the renovation of the city’s renowned library.
“The Charleston Library Society is the second-oldest circulating library in America, established in 1748, when we were still a colony of King George,” explained Anne Cleveland, Executive Director of the Charleston Library Society. The Society’s valuable documents include personal letters from George Washington, as well as John Paul Jones’ plans for the first US Navy. Most prized is a rare 1669 handwritten South Carolina constitution by John Locke — “a template for what became the American Constitution,” noted Cleveland, who is also a historian.
Today, the library is well prepared to safeguard its irreplaceable texts from a future of extreme weather events, and the city of Charleston benefits from the library’s unique character.