The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

The Watch


Clemson School of Architecture

Clemson was given land in Ansonborough by the City in 2002 to build a School of Architecture. The Neighborhood was not fully informed of what was planned when the City rezoned part of the land from Residential to Commercial, enabling a large structure to be placed on the site. The neighborhood erupted when it learned of Clemson’s plan and was joined by just about everybody when the design of the new school went before the Board of Architectural Review. The building was ugly, too large and unsuitable for the site, and impinged on neighbors. The City and Clemson ignored the protests but eventually yielded, probably helped by pressure from Columbia. Clemson now plans to build its school on Meeting Street, admittedly not far from the original site, but at least out of the residential section of Ansonborough.

August 21, 2006

Clemson School of Architecture
Public opinion prevails
What changed the City's and Clemson's minds?
Warwick Jones

Clemson's decision to abandon the plan to build its School of Architecture in Ansonborough has been well publicized. We planned to remain silent on the issue but after reading the editorial in Sunday's edition of the Post and Courier, we can't. Readers of the newspaper may think that the decision was made simply by Clemson and City who wanted only to do the right thing by the community. We know it was more complex than that.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:21 PM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2006

Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation - An update
Coastal Conservation League a beneficiary along with the Aquarium and Clemson
Warwick Jones

The Spaulding - Paolozzi Foundation has achieved a reputation in Charleston as a major donor to some pet projects of Mayor Riley. We thought that viewers may be interested in a summary of the Foundation's 2005 results as revealed in the Form 990 submission to the IRS

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:39 PM | Comments (1)

May 21, 2006

"Trust me" says Clemson
Not likely!

Patricia Jones

Clemson is one of the State's top universities and has a reputation of academic excellence. But its reputation for fiscal management, and integrity is looking soiled by the ambition to expand the school to satisfy the ego of its senior staff. We in Charleston are dealing with its insensitive plans to construct an unwanted building for the School of Architecture on a site that the community considers inappropriate. Arguably, there has been no precedent to the scale of public opposition to a new building in Charleston.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

Clemson School of Architecture
The public speaks loud and clear
What is the City doing?
Warwick Jones

The Board of Architectural Review (BAR) may have done Charleston a favor. Of course it didn't mean to. There was no doubt as to its collective view about the proposed Clemson Architectural School. It was in favor. But its indifference to the views of the public, expressed at the BAR meeting, in the press and elsewhere, and the revelations of the City's actions to secure approval for the proposed building, have stimulated public outrage to a level unprecedented in recent times. No it is not just the offending Clemson building, it is the whole "process". There are ordinances that have been defined to preserve the historic fabric of the City. Why are they not being enforced? Why are they being undermined? There are bodies whose purpose is to encourage preservation and challenge the forces that threaten the historic integrity of the City. Where are they? The Clemson issue may pass, but the broader issue most likely will remain and with it a challenge to the City to mend its ways.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2005

Clemson School of Architecture
Battle to go to Planning Commission?
Issue unites neighborhood associations
Warwick Jones, Editor

The first battle was fought last night. Clemson School of Architecture, its students, the City and some other architects sang the praises of the proposed building on George Street. The rest of the world booed. Amongst the critics were Save the City, the Preservation Society, Historic Charleston Foundation, the Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association (HANA) and representatives of some half dozen other neighborhood societies on the Peninsula. As the opponents have been saying for some time, the proposed school building is inappropriate for the site, out of character and too large. It would be better placed somewhere else such as Ansonborough Field or North Charleston where Clemson has recently acquired some 80 acres.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:50 PM

August 18, 2005

Clemson School of Architecture
Time for a reality check
What are the City and Clemson playing at?
Warwick Jones, Editor

Neighborhood design, building design, and infill and redevelopment, must complement the neighborhood setting. Some uses are not appropriate. Inappropriate uses would include excessively large buidings. City of Charleston's Master Plan

There were times in my education as an architect at Clemson where we weren't taught enough about the context of where a building would go. We ignored buildings of historical importance and made each building a monument to something. We produced a sort of chaos in our cities where each building was fighting with one another. Clemson President James Baker, reported by Post & Courier 1996

So you are a young professional starting a career. You save hard and buy a condominium in the City. You probably didn't think too much about it but you presumed that City zoning rules would protect your investment. You certainly did not think that in a year or so, there would be a 60 foot wall right slam against your condominium. Too bad about the view out that back window. Too bad about the potential fire hazard and access to the back of your condominium. Too bad about the market value. Too bad for the owners of the four condominiums that adjoin one side of the site where Clemson proposes to build it new School of Architecture. According to the City, and the architects for Clemson, the owners just have to deal with it.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Clemson School of Architecture

Was the Spaulding - Paolozzi gift proper?

Directors of the Foundation include Mayor Riley and Clemson faculty

Warwick Jones, Editor

Countess Spaulding - Paolozzi may be getting a lot of credit she would not want. The funds from her Foundation have been used to make a $500,000 grant to the Aquarium and a $1 million grant to the School of Architecture that Clemson proposes to build in Ansonborough. In recognition of the latest grant, the School will be named after her.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

Neighborhood Associations urge relocation of proposed School of Architecture
How about it Mayor Riley? Clemson?
Warwick Jones, Editor

Unprecedented in recent times, five neighborhood associations joined together last night to voice their opposition to construction to house a School of Architecture on a site in Ansonborough. The School, part of Clemson University, is planning to build on a site given to it by the City and which is opposite the Spoleto Building on George Street.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

School of Architecture - Clemson again attempts to woo citizens
Neighborhood Society suggests a site on Ansonborough Field
Warwick Jones, Editor

Citizens will get another chance to express their views about the building that Clemson University proposes to build in Ansonborough for its School of Architecture. The finalists presented their preliminary ideas some months ago. If we said that the public response was mixed, we would be charitable. Mostly it seems that the public was disappointed by the designs with some neighborhood and preservation groups extremely critical. In broad terms, critics felt the school is in the wrong place, and a modern design totally inappropriate for the historic area. The public meeting will be on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 , 5:30-7:00 P.M. at 85 Calhoun Street

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

No welcome mat for new School of Architecture
Ansonborough to Clemson - Drop Dead!
Warwick Jones, Editor, who resides in Ansonborough

It was not a happy meeting. Clemson University said it wanted to be a good neighbor. It would listen sympathetically to the wishes of the neighborhood. No, the new building for the School of Architecture was not going to look like the winning design of the recent competition. It promised a first class building.

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Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:43 AM | Comments (1)