March 14 – 16, 2021

Life in Charleston is and always has been oriented toward the sea. Science clearly indicates that as the 21st century progresses, the city’s prosperity will be tied to its ability to manage risks associated with floods (surge, tidal, rainfall, storm water, drainage, surface, groundwater) and sea-level rise. With growing public awareness that Charleston’s historic buildings and landscapes are among the city’s most valuable and vulnerable economic and social resources, any plan for the future must consider these material assets from the past. Fortunately, stakeholders in Charleston are already taking action.

Keeping History above Water: Charleston will build upon the past successes of KHAW events in other cities. With the theme “Communities in Action,” this workshop is specifically not about climate change, per se, but rather what communities are doing to ameliorate climate-related water impacts on historic resources in Charleston and across the United States. The workshop will feature a keynote panel, morning presentations, and afternoon tours, site visits, and hands-on projects that allow attendees to experience how stakeholders are taking on water-related preservation challenges. The keynote panel will discuss the climate/sea level challenges people in the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor are facing, how these forces impact their tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and how those challenges are being met.

This is the sixth iteration of Keeping History Above Water and is a partnership between the Clemson Design Center at Charleston’s graduate programs in Historic Preservation and Resilient Urbanism in collaboration with the Newport Restoration Foundation.

Due to where we stand, as a nation, relative to the pandemic, the Conference Committee has decided to change the date of the conference. We will not be going virtual; instead, we want renew our commitment to an in-person conference. We do so because our theme “Communities in Action” is predicated on a gathering wherein we don’t talk about climate change per se, but rather what communities are doing to ameliorate climate-related impacts on historic resources in Charleston and elsewhere. We believe the effective delivery of the theme rests not only on the paper presentations, but also on the workshops and in-the field experiences that are hard to replicate in the virtual environment. 

We are working with several partners and calendars to determine the best date (either Summer or Fall 2021). As soon as we determine that date we will post that information here as well as a registration timeline.


Submit your email address below for updates on registration.



202 King Street
Charleston, SC

198 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Please contact the hotel directly at the local or 800 number listed above and reference KEEPING HISTORY ABOVE WATER BLOCK to make their reservation.

  • Check-in is 3pm / Check-out is 12pm
  • Rate of $145 per standard room per night plus tax.
  • Parking is available onsite for $17 per car per day.
  • Each guest will be responsible for their own room, tax, destination charge, and parking.
  • The 1st night’s deposit will be taken at the time of booking.
  • 3 day cancelation policy for individual rooms.
  • We will release any unused rooms on February 12, 2021.




The roster of national & international panelists, keynotes, and presenters.