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Tours & Events


HCF Advocacy Forum: Excellence in Waterfront Redevelopment

May 13 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Bennett Rice Mill facade, 2024

As several major waterfront redevelopment projects move forward in planning, it’s important that the Charleston community critically examine what is best for our unique environment and historic neighborhoods. In this free community event, this panel discussion will focus on the key ingredients to successful, world-class waterfront development, within the context of Union Pier. This event will provide an important opportunity for the community to hear from panelists about how to best promote an exciting vision for this incredible property at this juncture in the planning process. Moderated by Vince Graham, panelists include Mayor William Cogswell, architect and preservationist Christian Sottile, renowned architect and urban designer Stefanos Polyzoides. Get involved and learn from important voices in our preservation community for this important, and timely, topic.

This event is free and open to the Charleston community. This program will not be streamed online, please attend this program in person. The Charleston Museum’s Arthur Wilcox Auditorium is handicap accessible, we kindly ask that you register for this event ONLINE.

Do you have questions for the panelists? CLICK HERE or use the FORM BELOW to submit questions in advance of the May 13 Advocacy Forum. HCF and the moderator will choose questions based on general themes and concerns submitted from the audience. Please submit all questions by 6 pm Friday, May 10. 

Meet the speakers:

Mayor William Cogswell

Mayor William Cogswell: Prior to becoming Mayor of the City of Charleston, he served as Former State Representative for South Carolina’s 110th District, where he was born and raised. He recognizes the importance of protecting an area so important to him, his family, and the many others living and working on the historic Peninsula of Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Mayor Cogswell has owned his own real estate business for 20 years. He specializes in complex historic and environmentally contaminated rehabilitation projects and has received numerous local, regional, and national awards for these projects. His company’s projects include the Cigar Factory, the GARCo Mill, and the Old Navy Base in North Charleston. Mayor Cogswell is a committed conservationist, having served on numerous boards such as the Historic Charleston Foundation, Coastal Conservation League, the Peninsula Advocacy Commission, and the Library Society. He received his B.A. from University of the South and a Master’s degree from Columbia University.

Christian Sottile

Christian B. Sottile, AIA: Architect and preservationist, Christian Sottile trained classically under the guidance of renowned Savannah architect, John C. Lebey, FAIA, who attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris during the 1920’s. After graduating as Valedictorian from the Savannah College of Art and Design, he was awarded a fellowship to continue urban research abroad in Italy and earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Design and Architecture from Syracuse University. Sottile turned his attention toward expanding the role of the architect as a leader in issues of community planning, preservation and growth. Currently, Sottile serves as a principal of Sottile & Sottile, a Savannah-based firm working primarily in Nationally Registered Historic Districts. The firm’s work includes urban design and civic architecture, emphasizing historic research, urban analysis and community-wide engagement. Sottile has lectured for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute. Concurrently with his professional practice, Sottile serves as a professor of architecture and urban design at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is the former dean of the SCAD School of Building Arts. In this role, Sottile led the graduate and undergraduate programs in Architecture, Architectural History, Preservation Design, Interior Design, Furniture Design and Urban Design.

Stefanos Polyzoides

Stefanos Polyzoides, Dean of The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture: Born in Athens, Greece, Polyzoides received his B.Arch. and M.Arch. from Princeton University. After moving to Southern California in 1973, he co-founded the firm Moule & Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists in 1982 alongside his wife and partner, Elizabeth Moule, AIA, helping develop an international practice with over 700 projects around the world. In 1993, Polyzoides, Moule, and four other co-founders created the CNU, an organization with more than 3,000 members focused on promoting architectural and urban planning through integrated development. From 1973 to 1996, Polyzoides served as a faculty member for the University of Southern California School of Architecture. Recently, The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in Notre Dame, Ind., has named Stefanos Polyzoides as its new dean.

Vince Graham

Moderator: Vince Graham: Vincent (Vince) Graham is the founder and president of the I’On Group in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The I’On Group combines time-tested design principles with modern advances to build and renovate human-scaled neighborhoods. Since founding Newpoint in Beaufort, SC in 1992, Graham has participated in building seven other traditional walking neighborhoods including the Village of Port Royal, Broad Street, I’On, Morris Square, Hammonds Ferry, and Mixson in South Carolina; and East Beach in Virginia. He serves on the board of Charleston Moves, the Coastal Conservation League, the Lowcountry Housing Trust, Historic Charleston Foundation and the Metropolitan Leadership Council of the Brookings Institution. A Georgia native who moved to South Carolina in 1989, Graham holds a degree in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Please REGISTER for this Forum in advance, space is limited.