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Foundation Matters

From the Collection: By Way of Paris with Promise of Funds

Posted: August 5, 2022

This small notepaper from the Hotel Ritz in Paris is one of the tiny treasures in the Margaretta Childs Archives. The massive campaign for the Edmunds Revolving Fund in the early 1960s involved hundreds of letters being sent between Foundation staff and potential donors. Many of these, along with their responses, have been kept safe as part of the Foundation’s history. The Richardson Foundation had promised $10,000 a year over the next three years if that amount could be matched by local donors. Armed with lists of local businesses, friends, and friends of friends, Foundation staff sent out appeal letters and were met with generosity. Mr. Kittredge and his wife offered to send a check for $500 once they returned home to New York City. While $500 is generous by any standard, in today’s funds that would be approximately $991. The Kittredges were no strangers to the preservation efforts of Historic Charleston Foundation, of course. They owned several homes, including the Col. William Rhett House at 54 Hasell Street. They would later gift Cypress Gardens to the City of Charleston in 1963.

The Edmunds Revolving Fund saved 67 properties and has since been emulated across the nation. In our 75th year, Historic Charleston Foundation has reimagined the traditional revolving fund model to address the displacement of Charleston’s long-term homeowners, particularly those in traditionally underserved communities. The Common Cause Loan Fund was established by Historic Charleston Foundation and the Charleston Redevelopment Corporation in response.

Learn more about the Common Cause Loan Fund here.

Interested in learning more about HCF’s archives? Sign up for an exclusive tour!

2 responses to “From the Collection: By Way of Paris with Promise of Funds”

  1. Linda Wohlfeil says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Kittridge built 17 East Battery about 1895 ish before purchasing the Rhett house on Hasell St. They sold 17 East Battery to purchase the Rhett house. Sometime later 17 E. Battery was purchased by my great-grandmother, Mary Louise McAlister around 1920. Seventeen is still in the McAlister family today and enjoyed by the many McAlister family and friends.

  2. Rick Wilson says:

    Who is the Mr. Cannon to whom the letter refers?

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