December 22, 2014

Charleston architectural board OK’s cruise terminal design

Rendering of proposed cruise terminal

Charleston’s new cruise terminal design has received the green light from the city’s board of architectural review.

The terminal is a conversion project of an existing cargo-handling building that was used by the port. It is being redesigned to handle cruise ship passengers.

The design integrates the building into the city.  It’s to have maritime-influenced detail and landscaping. In time the Union Pier Terminal will be a part of a larger redevelopment of the Charleston waterfront.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley calls the design of the old warehouse a wonderful transformation.

The plans for a cruise terminal have faced opposition over possible pollution and how the property and ships will fit into the historic city’s waterfront.  

Some Charleston residents claim the ships themselves are a bad fit for the historic and beautifully preserved city. They say a modern cruise ship, “belching” black exhaust as it keeps the ship powered while docked, is a blemish on the skyline where many buildings date back to the early 1800s. 

Sheree Bernardi of affiliate WTMA in Charleston,contributed to this report.