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Foundation Matters

New Easement on Broad Street

Posted: April 19, 2024

Historic Charleston Foundation is pleased to announce that an exterior preservation easement was recently donated to protect the Morton Waring House on Broad Street – a stunning property just steps away from Charleston’s “four corners of law.”

119 Broad Street ca.1920, Margaretta Childs Archives Collection

The beautiful historic house at 119 Broad Street was built by Morton Waring in 1803 and originally stood as a large 3½ story Charleston single house with exposed brick. Shortly after its completion, Waring sold the property in 1811 to Mordecai Cohen, a banker, merchant, and second-wealthiest man in South Carolina who later sold the property again in 1844. The current marble facade was a later addition to this grand historic structure. The property was owned by the Catholic Diocese for many years before it was sold to the current owner who has completed an extensive and careful rehabilitation of the property. Impressively, the 119 Broad Street property, through the many decades and many owners, continues to sit on approximately 0.63 acres of land in downtown Charleston.

119 Broad Street, today

An easement is a legal agreement between the owner of a historic property and a non-profit organization like Historic Charleston Foundation that establishes perpetual protections for the historic property. As required by the IRS, exterior easements protect the entire parcel, even portions of the property that are not visible from the street, from changes or alterations that will impact the historic character or materials of the property.

This is one of the most important protections for the 119 Broad Street property because of the size of the lot and its many outbuildings – it is now protected from being split up as so many larger historic district parcels have over the years and any new construction is restricted. In addition, exterior easements contain archaeological provisions to prevent important artifacts from being lost during construction, land use restrictions, and tree protections.

Historic Charleston Foundation accepts not only exterior easements, but also specific protection for important interiors and open space/gardens. There are three primary reasons to protect a historic property through an easement: ironclad protection, tax deductions and most importantly, preservation.

The Foundation’s Manager of Easements and Revolving Fund Programs, April Wood, works with potential donors and the homeowners of nearly 400 easement properties through the entire donation process, beginning with a site visit to evaluate the historic integrity of the property and the proposed scope of the easement protections. If your property is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Properties or is a Contributing Building to a National Register District, and retains historic integrity, your property may be eligible for an easement donation. If you have questions or are interested in donating an easement, please contact April Wood at [email protected].

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