Charleston Historic Preservation Commission
In May of 2009, the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission (CHPC) learned that the US Postal Service intended to close the local post office located just off the city square. This closure was part of a national program to shutter more than 4,000 local branch post offices, an initiative that was later listed on the National Trust’s 2012 List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. An adjacent business was interested in acquiring the property with the intent to demolish the 1917 Colonial Revival-style building. The CHPC created a public campaign to save the building. They became actively involved in the Section 106 review, developed and promoted historic preservation incentive informational documents, which the USOS failed to prepare as part of their marketing effort, and conducted open houses for potential purchasers. All of these actions went above and beyond the role of a local historic preservation commission. Through these efforts, the building was purchased by local business owners, who (at the time of the award) were in the process of rehabilitating the building for use as a pet supply store due to open later that year. This effort set a standard for other local commissions taking the initiative to advocate for their local landmarks.