Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston


We are excited to announce that Amalia Leifeste has been named Director of Graduate Programs in Historic Preservation at the School of Architecture!

“I am delighted to take over the role of directing the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, and I recognize that I am standing on the shoulders of giants as I do so,” Leifeste said. “These giants include a director who set the tone and character for the program near its inception, one who brought the program to the national standing that we enjoy now and one who moved our engaged community work ahead in important ways, forging relationships with a range of communities and new partnerships for the program.”

Leifeste will take over the Director position starting January 1. Check out the article to learn more:

Jon Marcoux, former Director of Graduate Programs in Historic Preservation has accepted a position directing the archeology department at his alma mater at the University of North Carolina. We wish him luck and thank him for his time in the School of Architecture.

Clemson University Clemson Design Center. Charleston Clemson University College of Architecture, Art and Construction

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 12/15/2023

Here is our open letter to Historic Charleston Foundation in support of keeping the Nathaniel Russell House as a historic house museum under their stewardship.


We will be having a prospective student drop-in at Lee III from 11:30-1:30. Come say hello and learn about the Master of Science in Historic Preservation Program!

Presentation of the 2023 Peterson Prize Awards, Philadelphia, PA 11/14/2023

Also receiving a Third Place award was Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston, for their drawings of Saint James Protestant Episcopal Church, built 1719-23 in Goose Creek, South Carolina. In front, from left, Professor Amalia Leifeste, AIA, and students Jacob Hockenberry, Hannah St. Onge, and Chloe Martin. In back, HABS architect Mark Schara, AIA.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 11/10/2023

We’re doing more GPR! Today first-year students in our Investigation, Documentation, and Conservation course were in the ACE Basin looking for the remains of an 19th century house. GPR can help locate the foundations of the house which likely lie one to two feet below the surface. Today the area is currently planted with sorghum!

Students were also looking for a relic road, a road which exists on a historic map, but isn’t currently used. They used LiDAR, topographic, and historic maps to locate the road.

We also enjoy hanging out with the local horses!


Charleston had the first tea party of the Revolutionary War?

Join us for the Charleston Tea Party on Saturday, December 2 at 10:00am to watch living history. Learn more at


Nailed it!! This week our second year students gave pithy, content-rich status update presentations on their thesis progress. We are going to learn some really interesting things this year- from intumescent paint, to salt water; the history of private libraries to historic brothels and Blind Tigers!


Join us in person or virtually on Tuesday November 14 for our next Brown-Bag Speaker Series event! Dr. Caroline Cheong will present Preservation and Affordable Housing: Moving towards an Equity Agenda. Details and registration

The global affordable housing crisis continues to worsen. At the same time, historic housing stock is increasingly demolished in favor of new construction that is usually out of reach for the original residents. Historic preservationist have an opportunity to respond to the need for affordable housing by more fully embracing an equity agenda that goes beyond the traditional toolbox of incentives and regulations to consider approaches that reflect the complexity and multifaceted nature of the world we live in. This discussion will focus on Community Land Trusts as one such tool.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 11/01/2023

Trick or treat! Yesterday, the Inevitable Inundation class went door-to-door speaking with architects and project managers about flooding adaptation in historic buildings.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 10/31/2023

Some of our students attended Student’s Day hosted by the Classical American Homes Trust at Millford historic site in Pinewood, South Carolina. Students first visited Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg, a notable example of a rammed earth construction. Activities at Millford included an in-depth tour of the house and grounds, demonstrations from preservation professionals including faux graining and stucco coring for analysis, and finished off with a panel discussion from leaders in the preservation field - many of which are either our alumni or professors!

Thank you to for hosting such a great learning and networking event!

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 10/30/2023

Last week students in our Project Management course had a great time in a unique Charleston “classroom.” As practicing preservation professionals, their professors are able to bring the “real world” into their teaching.

Second year student Claire Cox writes, “In Project Management today we visited the ongoing renovation of 60 Meeting Street with Kalen to understand an ongoing construction project and the different conservation issues and how to remediate them. We also enjoyed the views from the scaffolding!”


Awesome Clemson MSHP showing at APT SEATTLE!

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 10/11/2023

PROGRAM ALUMNI AT THE APT CONFERENCE - Amalia says…let’s gather for a quick program photo tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:30am during the refreshment break!!

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 10/06/2023

It’s grad school… But you still get to build with blocks!? In the building technology and pathology class today, students used wooden blocks versus magna-tiles to demonstrate floors acting as sheer diaphragms. Pretty fun!


Join us in person or virtually for our new speaker series! Same great speakers and content, new day and time! On October 24, we welcome Dr. Robert Greene II to speak about HBCUs as Black intellectual spaces. Register using the link in our Bio!


Congratulations to second-year student for being awarded the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Sallie E. Simons scholarship. The scholarship will support Winter’s attendance at the Charleston Symposium - an event that brings together some of our field’s most prominent scholars to speak around a particular theme. This year’s theme is New World, New Voices.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/29/2023

Amazing day on site with Jobie Hill of the Saving Slave Houses Project and Duke University looking at the details of these building as a record of the people who built, maintained, and lived in them. Sharpening our powers of observation looking at framing techniques and saw marks to understand change over time. We also got excited about a really unique find for the way the hearths’ support structure was built (continuous up from the foundation!?)

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/21/2023

The first year American Architecture students visited Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site today to learn about Colonial town planning and to examine a Revolutionary War-era tabby fortification. Although the houses are no longer standing, in the middle of the eighteenth century the town was the third largest in South Carolina.

Behre: Leaning into Charleston's old history outside the Custom House 09/17/2023

Congratulations to Lexie Allen (‘23)! Her thesis research using GPR to identify intact portions of Charleston’s colonial-era fortifications will help protect this little known, but significant resource that lies just beneath our feet!

Behre: Leaning into Charleston's old history outside the Custom House Most people probably never noticed how a monumental light post outside the U.S. Custom House leans a bit to the north, but new research has found the probable cause —

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/14/2023

Thank you, Southern Lumber and Millwork for an excellent tour discussing your manufacturing processes with the Building Technology and Pathology class!

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/14/2023

Thank you, Southern Lumber and Millwork for an excellent tour discussing your manufacturing processes with the Building Technology and Pathology class!

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/13/2023

There’s only one place to learn the fundamentals of historic property research - the deed office! Professor Pemberton and our intrepid TAs are showing our first-year students the ins and outs of deed research here in Charleston. This work allows students to begin constructing the historical narrative of the property. Together with other historical sources (census, newspaper, vital records), they can piece together the cultural stories that give buildings a sense of place and contribute to their significance.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 09/12/2023

First day on site for our Investigation, Documentation, and Conservation class. This year the first year students are working on a set of 4 houses built for (and in all likelihood by) enslaved people. The residences we believe to be circa 1840, and give us some challenging history as well as some text book examples of circular saw marks, and rust jacking of an iron lintel embedded in a brick hearth. This group is off and running with the measured drawing portion of our documentation work!


Second year student Hannah St. Onge presented the results of her summer internship with Drayton Hall at the fall meeting of the APT Southeast Chapter. Her research focused on using LiDAR data, historic documentation, and 3D modeling techniques to digitally reconstruct and propose potential sites for enslaved dwellings at Drayton Hall that are no longer extant. Several of the MSHP students attended, either virtually or in-person!


Thank you Nucor Berkeley County for the excellent tour of the steel making and finishing process! This helps us preservationists understand the manufacture process for building materials AND the huge investment of materials, energy, and expertise that go into buildings… all the more reason to keep them in use!


We are excited to announce our 2023-2024 Prospective Student Open House dates! Have you ever thought about turning your love for old buildings and landscapes into a successful career...or know someone who does? What a better way to pursue this future than to study historic preservation in one of the nation's top graduate preservation programs located in one of the world's most beautiful historic cities?

Taking the first step is easy... we are hosting a series of hybrid online/in-person open house events throughout the Fall and Winter. The day will feature a tour of our beautiful studio (in a rehabilitated cigar factory downtown) and conservation lab, Q&A with students, and visit to one of our current class project sites. Space is limited to attend the open house in person, but you can also register to attend this event virtually. Registration link !

Announcing the Winners of 2023 Charles E. Peterson Prize 08/31/2023

We were awarded 3rd place in this year’s Peterson Prize! Excellent work by our students led by Professor Amalia Leifeste! Clemson Architectural Foundation-CAF provided funding to support this effort.

Congratulations to all the winners!

A list of the student members for the winning teams can be found on the HDP website at

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 08/26/2023

Yesterday we capped off our 2023 Prequel with an excellent tour of and a pinup featuring student-drawings of grave markers from cemetery. Every year, this review highlights the amazing development of drawing skills over just a few days - thanks to the hard work of the students, TAs, and Professor Amalia Leifeste.

Photos from Clemson Historic Preservation in Charleston's post 08/23/2023

Prequel Day 2: In the morning, first-year students hit the town with Professor Katherine Pemberton to explore the historic heart of Charleston. In the afternoon they met Professor Amalia Leifeste at KKBE cemetery to begin learning measured drawing. The skills they develop drawing grave markers will be translated to documenting buildings later this semester.

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Videos (show all)

First year Historic Preservation students are already getting their hands dirty! Students are currently conducting field...
MSHP Alumni Video Spotlight: Neale Nickles





701 East Bay Street, Suite 202
Charleston, SC

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 9am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 9am - 4:30pm
Thursday 9am - 4:30pm
Friday 9am - 4:30pm
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