One very common plaque we see on private hones as we tour historic #Charleston is that of the conservation easement. An easement is a legal instrument that protects certain aspects of the property from being altered. An easement is purely voluntary, created by the property owner, but stays in effect for perpetuity, attached to the deed, regardless of who buys or sells the property. Although the property remains privately-owned, the easement invests power either to a land trust, conservation entity, or local government to constrain all present and future owners to conform to certain conservation purposes expressed in the easement.
One common purpose for houses in old Charleston is to protect interior details, such as historic mantels, staircases and molding, from being gutted, painted over or removed. In fact, the easement is the only way any interior details can be protected in historic Charleston, as the city authority over building alterations on covers the exterior through the power of the Board of Architectural Review.
<img.src=”Charleston Architecture” alt=”Conservation Easements”