Video illustrates impact if Charleston cruise ship terminal expands

This is one of several illustrations in a video depicting how plans for a new cruise ship terminal could affect views around historic downtown Charleston. (© Reina Murray/National Trust for Historic Preservation)

As debate continues around expanding the cruise ship terminal in Charleston, a new tool to help visualize the impact of the cruise ships on historic downtown Charleston is now available.

The video, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, superimposes scale models of the possible cruise ships in port from various vantage points around the city. The visualization makes one of the impacts of the expansion—hosting ships that overshadow the carefully preserved colonial height and character of the city—much more tangible. An excerpt of the video is provided below.

“Building a large new terminal in downtown Charleston to host very large leisure cruise vessels will impact one of the most revered and intact historic treasures in the entire United States,” Managing Attorney Blan Holman told the Post & Courier. “A giant leisure cruise ship with a water slide on top is like a floating Disney World: plenty of fun, but not historic.”



Since the new terminal was introduced in 2010, SELC has been working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and local neighborhood and historic preservation groups to highlight the problems with growing large cruise ship operations in the heart of the city’s historic district. Current cruise ship operations already threaten the character of historic Charleston by snarling traffic in downtown streets and discharging pollution into nearby historic neighborhoods and public waters.

Plans for the $35 million terminal are now in the hands of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected to hold a public meeting on the terminal early next year.

To see the full video, click here.

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