11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Ashley River Historic District
Year Listed: 1995
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
A 13-mile corridor bound by the Ashley River Road and the Ashley River northwest of Charleston, the area includes 53 properties and archaeological sites tracing history from Native American habitation to 18th century African-American settlements to Civil War fortifications. More than 420,000 tourists, residents and scholars each year are drawn to the beauty of the area's slow-flowing streams, bright green marshes, moss-hung live oaks, stately plantation houses and colorful gardens. Unfortunately, the region is threatened by development pressures and a lack of coordinated regional planning, both of which threaten to overwhelm the tranquility of the Ashley River Road, a National Scenic Byway, and historically significant sites such as Drayton Hall (c.1740), Magnolia Plantation (purchased in 1676), and Middleton Place whose gardens were laid out in 1741, making them the oldest gardens in the nation.