SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1999

Lessons Learned from the Structural Retrofit of a Historic Charleston House


An initiative is underway in Charleston, South Carolina, to provide a center for the demonstration of retrofit techniques intended to increase the ability of historic residences to withstand damage caused by natural hazards: hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. During the retrofit of the center, many structural engineering issues surfaced. Such topics include retrofit for multiple hazards, application of current building codes, identification of load paths in archaic framing systems, use of nontraditional methods and materials, significance of non-structural components, and masonry chimney and foundation stabilization. Attempts to apply current analysis techniques and retrofit methods led to difficulties that had to be overcome to provide workable retrofit solutions. This paper addresses many of these problems, describes some of the solutions developed, and identifies engineering aspects of historic preservation in need of more research and greater consensus regarding proper methods and procedures.

Author Information

Willis, VL
Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc., Irving, TX
Schiff, SD
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Rosowsky, DV
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Nelson, JK
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 175–188
DOI: 10.1520/STP14191S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5403-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2606-0