Charleston's new cruise terminal has the official green light from the City's Board of Architectural Review (BAR), which unanimously granted final approval to the project's design, according to Peter Lehman, director for cruise development at the Port of Charleston.
Wednesday's vote marked the final in a three-step process initiated last summer, when the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) voluntarily entered the formal architectural review process. The BAR previously voted to grant preliminary approval in November and conceptual approval to the project last August.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley praised the cruise terminal's design, calling it a "wonderful transformation" of an existing warehouse and a "great achievement."
"What we have now is a very fine building that graces this city," Mayor Riley said during the meeting.
The new terminal is the conversion of an existing cargo-handling building into a functional and attractive passenger terminal, and the design is reflective of input received from numerous meetings with stakeholders as well as feedback previously received from the BAR.
By incorporating public input and design influences seen around Charleston like siding, louvres and tabby, as well as maritime-influenced railing, the design fits contextually into the rest of the area.
Importantly, the conversion of the structure to a cruise operation re-knits the site into the City, replacing the chain link fence that currently surrounds the property with landscaped edges and re-establishing Concord Street through the entire site. The new cruise terminal is the first step in the larger redevelopment of Union Pier Terminal.