The Phillips community was designated as a Charleston County historic district during an Aug. 24 County Council meeting, giving residents hope of some protection from ongoing development in Mount Pleasant.
With the new designation, development plans in close proximity to the community now need to be reviewed by the county Historic Preservation Commission. One of the proposals that sparked the move was the original plan for S.C. Highway 41, which included widening the two-lane highway to five lanes through Phillips.
Phillips is a Black settlement dating back to the late 1800s that straddles S.C. Highway 41 in northern Mount Pleasant. The once-rural plot has become a hotbed of subdivision development in the town, despite most of the properties being owned by descendants of Black settlers who bought the land after the Civil War.
Phillips is also seeking to be added into the National Register of Historic Places, which would grant the community even greater protections when federal projects are reviewed.
The challenges won’t stop now though. The community and its supporters will have to continue working to maintain the designation, however, as Mount Pleasant Town Council has been asked to annex 19 of the 440 acres making up the new historic district, and doing so may jeopardize the historic designation of the entire community.
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