PSC Advocates for Aiken's Historic Hotel
Before destroying an historic building, better to ask a few question.
On March 1, 2022, Aiken's Design Review Board voted to approve the demolition of the Hotel Aiken in order to make way for a new hotel, apartments, parking structure, and conference center. The approval came with some conditions, including that no demolition would occur without fully approved plans in place and after adequate public input has been received. Almost immediately, some in the Aiken community, understanding that "historic fabric" cannot be replaced, reached out to Preservation South Carolina and asked for assistance.
Preservation South Carolina Interim President Mike Bedenbaugh summarized, "We are pleased to have been to take a closer look at this project to ensure that what is being said is in fact accurate: That the Hotel Aiken cannot reasonably be saved. Perhaps so, but as recently as a few years ago there were plans to retrofit and expand the landmark structure. Due diligence requires that we review what happened to those plans and why and reasonably ask if they should be refreshed.”
As of the date of this News Release, Preservation South Carolina is pursuing a stability study of the hotel by the renowned Historic Masonry engineer, Craig Bennett, and his team at Bennett Preservation Engineering of Charleston.
Preservation South Carolina is also requesting, via the Freedom of Information Act, information from the city of Aiken.