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March 23, 2021

Statement from the HBF Board of Trustees

The Historic Beaufort Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation and protection of historic, architectural and cultural areas in Beaufort, South Carolina. Along with the leadership of the City of Beaufort, the Foundation was instrumental in establishing our National Historic Landmark District. We are proud that for over fifty years the Foundation has fervently exercised a guardianship responsibility towards the district’s preservation.

Through our revolving fund and preservation easement program we have saved and/or restored some 32 properties within the district and continue to protect these and many other properties for future generations. And, thanks to generous donations, we are in the midst of completing improvements to our flagship property – the John Mark Verdier House.

To be clear, the Foundation has no regulatory authority; that resides with the City of Beaufort and with the City’s Historic Review Board (HRB). The Foundation, however, advances public awareness of construction and demolition proposals in the Historic District. It vigorously advocates that development proposals be in keeping with universally accepted preservation practices and Beaufort’s own local regulatory preservation framework. We are fortunate to have in place rules and regulations to protect and guide development within our Historic District – the City’s Zoning Ordinance (The Beaufort Code), and the Beaufort Preservation Manual and its Supplement (the “Milner Study”), as well as others. This strict regulatory structure was authored by those who went before us. The result of allegiance to that structure is the Beaufort we treasure today.

As the city’s most vocal advocate for historic preservation, we nonetheless wholeheartedly believe that sustaining Beaufort’s economic vibrancy is also of compelling importance. Within that spirit, of course, we must all be mindful that Beaufort attracts visitors and future residents alike because it retains the charm and character of a small town. We cannot lose that valuable quality. We strongly believe a balance between historic preservation and appropriate growth can be achieved.

We invite you to join us as we continue our tradition of working with the City and all parties in Beaufort to ensure the preservation and sustainability of our vibrant, livable, and walkable historic area.