Location: Gaillard Center, Charleston, SC 29401


Department: Planning, Preservation, & Sustainability Department

Division: Preservation

Job Status: Full-Time

Rate of Pay: Salary commensurate with experience

People all over the world come to visit and be a part of our unique city. Charleston is a rapidly growing and history rich coastal city with great opportunity. We rely on our employees to maintain this reputation,and as a part of the City of Charleston you can help answer today’s problems while preparing for a successful future.

The City Architect plays a key role in shaping the built environment throughout the city. Among their duties are the management of processes that regulate designs for architecture, site design, and signage, in addition to the regulation of requests for demolition. They serve as the primary staff administrator for the Board of Architectural Review – Large, which reviews applications for projects over 10,000 square feet and are responsible for administrating historic preservation review of structures within the locally adopted historic districts. The City Architect performs these tasks by interpreting and enforcing the adopted zoning ordinances of the City.

The City Architect manages the operations of the Preservation Division within the Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability, supervising a workgroup of five (5) staff members. The position oversees the management of three (3) review boards with a total of 17 appointed members including the Board of Architectural Review - Large, Board of Architectural Review - Small, and the Design Review Board.

Duties and Responsibilities
In this position, you will:

  • Advise and administer public board meetings which occur several times a month in the evenings
  • Meet with applicants to review proposals for new structures, modifications to existing structures, demolition requests, and signage within various zoning districts
  • Perform site inspections Be the liaison for Section 106 local, state, and federal project review and for departmental and city preservation and design issues
  • Manage practices of personnel, board membership and applicants by:
    • Administering preservation and design review provisions of the City of Charleston Zoning Ordinance
    • Organizing and managing the workflow of applications
    • Empowering staff by educating, motivating, and inspiring them to achieve excellent architecture and design that embodies the principles, policies and goals of the City and the Department Fostering a collaborative environment among staff, boards and applicants
    • Establishing a trusted working relationship with board members, helping to bring board processes into conformity with adopted ordinances while empowering board members to make good decisions in keeping with legal standards for quasi-judicial boards
    • Providing excellent customer service by clearly and proactively communicating with applicants
    • ​Providing regular briefings to department leadership and Mayor regarding operations and projects
  • Improve the division's process, practices and policies by:
    • Working with division and department staff to evaluate all aspects of the division’s operations to streamline processes, improve workflow and increase transparency
    • Fully applying and implementing the BAR Principles and ordinances as adopted by City Council
    • Aligning division operations with the mission of the department specifically assisting with meeting goals for the production of housing and City-sponsored capital projects
    • Implementing other process improvements as identified in collaboration with staff and department leadership
    • Administering design and preservation policies with an understanding of broader issues related to housing affordability, equity, climate change, and economic development
    • Perform other duties as assigned. May require evenings, weekends, and holidays as scheduled.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess a keen eye for design and the ability to clearly convey design concepts, working with others to improve architectural and site design proposals at varying scales
  • Be an effective communicator with exceptional skill with written, verbal, and graphic communication, as well as in public speaking
  • Demonstrate an understanding of architectural history, typology, style and the urban assembly of architectural types into coherent streets, blocks, neighborhoods, districts and cities
  • Show expertise in the materials, details and construction methods of traditional architecture and have knowledge of architectural preservation techniques and methods
  • Provide examples of built work that demonstrate a command of massing, disposition, stylistic vocabulary and material palette Have experience working with architectural regulation and/or with municipal review boards
  • Demonstrate an understanding of interrelated issues and potential solutions related to design, preservation, sustainability, and equity


Basic requirements

  • 10 years of related experience Licensed as an Architect by the South Carolina Board of Architectural Examiners or have an NCARB Certification and obtain state licensure within
  • 3 months of hire State-issued driver’s license

Education requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Architecture or related field

The City of Charleston offers an extensive benefits package, including: health, dental and vision insurance; employer-paid short and long term disability, life insurance, and employee assistance program; annual and sick leave; 10 paid holidays and 1 personal holiday every year; tuition reimbursement; participation with the SC Retirement System, a defined benefit pension plan; 401k and 457 plan options; and many other benefits. For more information, please visit

Apply here: