North Charleston, SC
North Charleston was incorporated in 1972, making it the youngest city in South Carolina. When the city was first formed, it covered only 7 square miles and had a population of 21,000. Today, it has expanded to 73 square miles and has more than 91,000 residents.
North Charleston offers much in the way of shopping, history, attractions, and award-winning neighborhoods. Known as the "Hub of the Lowcountry," North Charleston is the third-largest municipality in South Carolina in terms of both population and area. The town welcomes 2 million visitors annually.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The military is the city's top employer. There are more than 12,000 U.S. Navy personnel at various facilities in the area, including the Charleston Naval Weapons Station and the Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center. The Charleston Air Force Base has more than 5,400 personnel, and the Department of Defense is also expanding its presence in the area with entities such as the U.S. Coast Guard Group. Aside from the military, Charleston County, the Robert Bosch Corporation, Trident Medical Center, and the U.S. Postal Service make up a large portion of the city's labor market.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
North Charleston is made up of more than 45 neighborhoods. About 67 percent of residents are owners, and 28 percent are renters. The 3,000-acre historic urban district referred to as Noisette has won national awards for its high quality of life and sustainable buildings.
Each community is represented in a Citizen's Advisory Council, offering a direct line of communication between the neighborhoods and the mayor's office. A Community Mitigation Plan was created to develop model communities and foster community involvement; among other things, the plan provides a trust designated for affordable housing.
- Boone Hall Plantation: The 738-acre plantation is owned by the McRae family and is one of America's oldest working plantations. Peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and pumpkins are produced on the grounds. The main house is filled with antiques and gives visitors the feel of an authentic 1800s plantation.
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens: The grounds include the main house, which has ten rooms open to the public, which feature a private art collection, antiques, and family heirlooms. The Nature Train takes visitors through the property's wetlands, lakes, forests, and marshes to see alligators, turtles, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Tourists can also view the former slave quarters, visit the petting zoo, and take a boat tour through the rice fields.
- Drayton Hall: The oldest surviving example of Georgian Palladian architecture in the United States was constructed in 1738. The estate is the only plantation on the Ashley River to survive in mostly original condition. It is a National Historic Landmark and a National Trust Historic Site.
- Charles Towne Landing: The Landing is dedicated to the area's natural and cultural history. One attraction is the Animal Zoo, which features animals that have otherwise disappeared from South Carolina. Abemarle Point is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Carolina province. There is also a reproduction of a seventeenth-century coastal trader vessel, an active archaeological program, and an African American cemetery.
- Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial: The site is a tribute to the men and women who served and the civilians who worked on the base before it was closed in 1996.
- Angel Oak: This native tree is estimated to be 1,400 years old. The tree has a large canopy and stands 65 feet tall with a circumference of 25.5 feet. The largest limb is 89 feet long.
- The Citadel Museum: The museum showcases the history of the Military College of South Carolina from 1842 to the present. The permanent exhibits explore the military, athletic, and social aspects of cadet life through photographs and memorabilia. There are more than 300 collections in the museum's archives, including films, engravings, and photo cards.
- The Charleston Museum: The cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry is featured in America's first museum, founded in 1773. The site also includes two historic houses, an early silver collection, and displays of both modern birds and prehistoric animals.
- Patriot's Point Naval and Maritime Museum: Located in Charleston Harbor, the museum features warplanes and ships from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. The centerpiece of the museum is the U.S.S. York, the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the U.S. Navy.
- North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center: The history of firefighting is the focus of this 25,000-square-foot facility. The exhibits include antique firefighting equipment dating from 1800.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The focal point of arts and culture in North Charleston is the North Carolina Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. The building houses the North Charleston City Gallery, which features visual and fine art exhibits that change monthly. The 2,300-seat Performing Arts Center offers Broadway plays, concerts, family events, and conventions such as the annual Charleston Boat Show.
- Baseball: The Charleston River Dogs are a single-A Minor League Baseball club.
- Ice Hockey: The South Carolina Stingrays play for 240,000 fans each year at the North Carolina Coliseum.
- Soccer: The Charleston Battery is a U.S. professional men's soccer team formed in 1993. The team plays at Blackbaud Stadium.
The city is serviced by the Charleston International Airport, which serves seven major airlines. The Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority provides bus transportation throughout the city. There is also an AMTRAK station.