Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

January 2008


A thesis in Historic Preservation Presented to the Faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Master of Science in Historic Preservation 2008.
Advisor: Gail Caskey Winkler


This thesis will describe how Colonial and Antebellum buildings were constructed in the south to respond to their environments and whether the experience of those who now visit these buildings is affected by the addition or absence of climate control. The study will focus on house museums in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston house museums have a wide range of types of climate control, from none at Drayton Hall, to partial systems as in the forced air heating system at the Aiken-Rhett House and limited heating and air conditioning in the Joseph Manigault House. Charleston also provides a unique climate in which methods of European and vernacular architecture were blended together to create the distinct housing styles of the South Carolina Low Country. The climate is classified as Sub-Tropical and is generally hot and humid. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in the winter, a feature that attracts visitors to the area year round. The question is how do the interior climates of Charleston's house museums affect the visitors who tour these sites? Do visitors select the house museums they visit based on physical comfort, or do they seek an authentic experience and put their needs aside?



Date Posted: 14 July 2008