1/26/2022- Speaker Series - Betsy Cahill - Preservation Society of Charleston

Rotary Recap 1/26/2022

The Daniel Island Community Speaker’s Series presented Betsy Kirkland Cahill, Board Chair of the Preservation Society of Charleston.


One of the attractions for anyone who has moved to Charleston from elsewhere is the history of the city itself and the allure of the historic district with its collection of well-preserved homes. Maintaining the city’s charm is an ongoing challenge. Betsey talked about the oldest grassroots preservation entity in the United States' history and the integral role they have played in preserving Charleston's beautiful charm while adjusting to a significant population increase over the last decade.


The Preservation Society has been around since 1920 when a group of concerned citizens joined forces to save the 1802 Manigault house which had been slated for destruction. Its mission today is to protect our city from the impacts of over-tourism, over-development, and flooding. In Betsy’s words, “Without the efforts of the Preservation Society, there would be no Rainbow Row, no Manigault House, and none of the economic dwellings downtown where residents and visitors alike wander amid time-honored beauty.” Amidst its many successes, there have been some irretrievable losses such as the Charleston Orphan House on Calhoun Street and the Quaker Burial Ground at the corner of King and Queen Streets.


Betsy’s passion for preserving Charleston’s charm made this a memorable evening for the audience in-person and on Zoom.