The Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) is a non-profit organization serving as a strong advocacy leader for citizens concerned about preserving Charleston’s distinctive character, quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods. Founded in 1920 by Susan Pringle Frost, the PSC is the oldest community-based preservation organization in the nation.
In 2013, the PSC established the Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance (TMPA) to identify, recognize, and preserve not only the contributions of African Americans to the built environment of Charleston and the Lowcountry and all places significant to the African American experience.
The initiative’s namesake, Thomas Mayhem Pinckney (1877-1952), is a relatively unsung yet integral, early player in Charleston’s pioneering preservation movement. Specializing in the restoration of historic structures, Pinckney was highly skilled in hand-carved woodworking and was one of the most sought-after artisans of his day. He employed and trained numerous other African American tradesmen and founded his own contracting firm in the early-twentieth century. Pinckney worked on numerous historic rehabilitation projects with Preservation Society founder, Susan Pringle Frost, who called his craftsmanship “lasting monuments to his genius and his love of our old city.”
The Morris Street Business District Project was initiated by the Thomas Mayhem Pinckney Alliance to offer an opportunity for interactive exploration of the history of Morris Street, its evolution, and the community it fostered. Notably, Thomas Mayhem Pinckney was a member of this community, living just blocks away from Morris Street at 160 Spring Street for many years. This project endeavors to honor those that lived and worked in this neighborhood, like Thomas Mayhem Pinckney, who had a great impact on shaping the character of the district and the city of which it was a crucial part.