June 13 – 15, 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.

We are pleased to announce that we have rescheduled the conference dates and confirmed availability with our venues. Keeping History above Water: Charleston will be held Sunday June 13-Tuesday June 15, 2021. Charleston will be a tad warmer, but every bit as charming – We promise. We plan on maintaining the conference theme (Communities in Action) and structure with diverse offerings of paper presentations, site tours, and workshops. We will be hosting the keynote panel at South Carolina Society Hall, and the presentations and tours will be held at our and at a number of outdoor sites around Charleston. We will be updating the website shortly with registration links. We have also secured rooms at the rate of $145/night at two beautiful hotels downtown on King Street (Kings Courtyard Inn and Fulton Lane Inn). Simply call either of the numbers listed below and request a room in the KEEPING HISTORY ABOVE WATER BLOCK

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we negotiate these tumultuous times. We are incredibly excited to host this event and to hear about and see how folks are taking on the challenges faced by our heritage resources.

Jon Marcoux and B.D. Wortham-Galvin

Clemson Design Center
701 East Bay Street, Suite 202
Charleston, SC 29403-5092

Keynote venue:
72 Meeting Street. South Carolina
Charleston, SC 29401


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 cancellation policy for individual rooms.




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