Voice Your “Common” Interest

Once again the Beach Company’s development plan for the site of the Sergeant Jasper apartment building is in the news. Yesterday the Charleston Post and Courier carried Robert Behre’s latest story on this controversy, in which we learn that a circuit court judge will allow representatives from four local advocacy organizations to participate in the legal negotiations between the Beach Company and the City of Charleston concerning the future use of the site at the west end of Broad Street. This ruling means that the public—for whom this land was reserved in 1768 as a “Common” in perpetuity—will have a voice in deciding the future use of the property.

To citizens wishing to avail themselves of this opportunity, I offer the following resources to help explain the deep historical roots of this controversial topic:

First, I would direct interested readers to peruse my earlier essays on Charleston’s “Colonial Common,” which I posted here on June 3rd, June 9th, and June 15th.

Second, I invite interested parties to view a video of my “Colonial Common” program from June 11th.

Third, I invite the public to join me for an encore presentation of this lecture:

“A Brief History of Charleston’s Colonial Common”

Wednesday, August 19th 2015 at 6 p.m.

Charleston County Public Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401. 

Finally, I encourage everyone to contact one or all of the four organizations who have been invited to participate in the negotiations regarding the future of this historic site: The Harleston Neighborhood Association, the Charlestowne Neighborhood Association, the Preservation Society of Charleston, and the Historic Charleston Foundation.

The upcoming negotiations may represent an important turning point in the 221-year-old legal debate over the public and private interests in the land at the west end of Broad Street.