by Anna Brown
After the impact of the last Charleston mapping project, the Charleston Rhizome Collective set our sights on mapping a wider expanse of peninsular Charleston- a new Map spanning between King Street and Rutledge Avenue from Cannon Street up to Mt. Pleasant Street. This map covers parts of Wagener Terrace, and Upper and Mid-King Street: within the grids of the map, it is clear how drastically some areas have changed in recent years due to the impact of the college population, the influx of often wealthier and white young professionals and families to certain historically black neighborhoods, and the encroaching demand for app-based temporary lodging and student housing throughout the city.
Among these shifts, many TINY businesses, churches, and museums remain steadfast throughout the decades, a continued historical influence on their rapidly evolving communities. Change in itself is of course never all ‘bad’ or all ‘good’- the maps also highlight the optimistic presence of new TINY businesses, who in the past decade have embedded themselves as well-loved hubs of their community.
Maps don’t just direct us in the present, they uncover the movements of the past and hint at the trajectory of the future. It’s a diary of a Charleston who must reckon with the pressure to preserve its antebellum heritage, and the need to forge a path towards a more culturally, politically, and artistically inclusive city.
Much like the prior mapping project, this map was a collaborative effort between conNECKtedTOO apprentice Anna Brown, and members Debra Holt and Gwylene Gallimard. The data was compiled through researching historical city records, and through in-person travels throughout the city and interviews with business-owners and community members. Design and visual direction was completed by Anna Brown and Gwylene Gallimard.
The King & Rutledge Map will be on display at the John L. Dart Library at 1067 King Street from September 30 to October 18. We invite all viewers to write down their own memories of TINY Businesses, open or closed, in the margins of the Map. To share a more in-depth account with us or suggest additions for the Map, email Charleston Rhizome Collective at firstname.lastname@example.org.