Charleston Library

Climate Change Drives New Window Spec for Charleston Library

In this report, Eneref Institute examines the window specification decisions for the oldest public library.

"We protected the library for another hundred, two hundred years."

The city of Charleston successfully balances historical community preservation with building codes and safety. Recently, however, globally intensifying weather events encouraged the Board of Architetural Review to tilt the scales towards safety for the renovation of the city’s renowned library.

“The Charleston Library Society is teh second-oldest circulating library in America, established in 1748, when we were still a colony of King George,” explained Anne Cleveland, Executive Director of teh Charleston Library Spciety. The Society’s valuable documents include personal letters from George Washington, as well as John Pul Jones’ plans for the first US Navy. Most prized is a rare 1669 handwritten South Carolina constitution by John Locke — “a template for what became the American Constitution,” noted Cleveland, who is also a historian.

Today, the library is well prepared to safeguard its irreplaceable texts from a future of extreme weather events, and the city of Charleston benefits from the library’s unique character.

Eneref Institute is a research and advocacy organization focused on environmental and social responsibility opportunities as a catalyst for change. The mission of Eneref Institute is to launch initiatives that raise awareness for clear, specific solutions that put forward an efficient use of natural resources, demonstrate social responsibility and foster a peaceful, earth-friendly economy.