North Charleston, South Carolina: Wikis

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North Charleston, South Carolina
—  City  —

Seal
Nickname(s): "Hub of the Lowcountry"
Coordinates: 32°53′7″N 80°1′1″W / 32.88528°N 80.01694°W / 32.88528; -80.01694Coordinates: 32°53′7″N 80°1′1″W / 32.88528°N 80.01694°W / 32.88528; -80.01694
Country United States
State South Carolina
Counties Charleston, Dorchester
Government
 - Type Mayor-council government
 - Mayor R. Keith Summey
Area
 - Total 76.6 sq mi (198.393 km2)
Elevation 25 ft (6 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 100,000+
 - Density 1,360.5/sq mi (525.3/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 843
FIPS code 45-50875[1]
GNIS feature ID 1225072[2]
Website www.northcharleston.org
[3]

North Charleston is one of the premier cities within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and is located in Charleston and Dorchester Counties. The population, as of 2009, currently stands at more than 100,000. This ranks the City of North Charleston as 3rd in city limit population within the state of South Carolina, after Columbia and Charleston, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Incorporated in June 1972, North Charleston had a population of 21,000 and an area of seven square miles. Since that time, the city has more than tripled its population and now encompasses more than 76.6 square miles. It is considered one of the state's major industrial cities.

Contents

History

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Before Incorporation

From the 1600s until the Civil War, this area was comprised primarily of plantations. The large plantations were continually subdivided into smaller farms as the population began moving northward. After the Civil War, phosphate fertilizer plants began to spring up, with extensive strip mining occurring between the Ashley River and Broad Path (Meeting Street Road).

Since the early 1900s, North Charleston had been a planned industrial community with its growth geared directly to the industry, military, and business communities. The first industry in North Charleston was E.P. Burton Lumber Company. In 1901, the United States Navy Shipyard was established. Shortly thereafter, the General Asbestos and Rubber Company built the world's largest asbestos mill under one roof.

In 1912, a group of Charleston businessmen formed a development company, bought the Burton tract, and began to lay out an industrial city. Park Circle was laid out, with areas reserved for industrial, commercial, and residential usage. Park Circle was planned as one of only two English Garden Style city model communities in the US and most of the original planning concept remains today. Some of the streets in the City of North Charleston still bear the names of these pioneer developers: Durant, Buist, Mixon, Hyde, and O'Hear. During World War II, substantial development occurred as the military bases and industries expanded.

From World War II through the 1960s, many people in the community were unhappy about the way parts of the North Area were developing. They wanted the citizens in the area to have direct control over future development. As a means of bringing government closer to the people, an incorporation referendum was held on April 27, 1971. On June 12, 1972, after a series of legal battles, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the referendum results and North Charleston became a city with John E. Bourne Jr as its first Mayor.

The First 10 Years

On June 12, 1972, North Charleston stood as the 9th largest city in the state, including 11 communities of: Russelldale, Ferndale, Morningside, Liberty Park, Palmetto Heights, Singing Pines, Dewey Hill, Old North Charleston Area, Liberty Homes and John C. Calhoun Homes.

Within the first week of operation, the City passed a 61-page Code and signed a five year lease for 308 Montague Avenue for $300.00 per month. Also, during the month of June, the City hired a police chief, treasurer and its first industry, which was Textone Incorporated Plywood, Westvaco. On June 21 a ribbon was cut on the first city park on Virginia Avenue. At the end of the first month, the City reached an agreement for garbage collection and fire protection. The month concluded with the city’s first annexation, south of Bexley Street between Spruill Avenue and the Charleston Naval Shipyard. By December, North Charleston had become the 4th largest city in the state after annexing the Naval Base.

In February 1973, the City had doubled its area through annexation, and in March expanded into Berkeley County. In May 1973, the City launched its new police department, which included 21 officers and six cars. By the end of North Charleston’s first year, the population had increased from 22,000 to 53,000.

Through continued growth that included 20 churches, a 62 store shopping mall and other large tracts of residential neighborhoods, the city became the 3rd largest city in South Carolina on July 3, 1976.

On June 12, 1982, the city celebrated ten years of growth. North Charleston had a population of 65,000 in a 30.5 mile area. In ten short years, the city growth rate was 250 percent, it made $15 million in capital investments, $1.95 million was invested in parks and recreation facilities, and $2.28 million in economic development.

Coming to Fruition

1983, North Charleston became the first in South Carolina to implement a Computer Aided Dispatch System. Baker Hospital opened a new facility on the banks of the Ashley River.

1984, Wal-Mart announced plans to open one of the nation’s first Sam’s Clubs in North Charleston.

1985, The city’s operating budget of $12.8 million is approved with no increase in tax levy. Plans were revealed for the 400 acre Centre Pointe development.

1986, The City’s population reaches 78,000 spanning 47 square miles.

1987, A beach appears in the middle of the city with the opening of Treasure Lake. North Charleston celebrates its 15th Anniversary. The Northwoods Center shopping complex opens.

1988, Mayor Bourne dedicates Live Oak Community Center. Whitehall single-family residential development was planned.

1989, Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston in 1989, causing over $2.8 billion in damage.

1990, North Charleston moved to the 2nd largest city in area in South Carolina and plans were announced to restore Park Circle to its original beauty.

1991, Bobby Kinard elected as the second Mayor of the city.

1992, Bethume Arts Center named Cultural Center of North Charleston.

1993, a squadron of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft was established at Charleston Air Force base. The North Charleston Coliseum opened.

1994, Mayor R. Keith Summey is elected the city’s third mayor to fill a vacant seat after the resignation of Bobby Kinard.

1995, South Carolina Stingrays are name the Southern Division Champions vaulting them into the ECHL.

1996, Charleston Naval Shipyard closes after nine decades.

2009, Vought Aircraft sells its manufacturing and assembly plant, located in the City of North Charleston, to Boeing Aircraft. Later in 2009, Boeing Aircraft announced the selection of the City of North Charleston for its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft assembly and delivery prep center. This has positioned the City of North Charleston as one of the major aircraft centers of the world. Thousands of new jobs will provide quality work for residents of the City of North Charleston and smaller cities and towns nearby.

Naval Base Closure

The Charleston Naval Base remained the largest employer of civilians in South Carolina into the 1990s. The influence of Lowcountry legislators and the threat of nuclear attack played an important role in keeping Charleston’s base open in the face of periodic attempts at closure.

However, in the early 1990s, with the resolution of the Cold War and impending defense budget cuts, the Charleston Navy Base was once again on the chopping block. In 1993, the Charleston Naval Base was given a closure date of April 1, 1996. The closing of the base was a blow to the Tri-County economy. Over the years, millions of dollars flowed into the Tri-County areas economy and hundreds of thousands of jobs provided to military and civilian personnel, the vast majority being civilians. Many military personnel who worked at or passed through the base returned to the City of North Charleston to retire. Since the closure of the Charleston Naval Base, parts of the base and dry-docks have been leased out to various government and private businesses and community parks have been established on old base grounds.

North Charleston Today

North Charleston continues to be the State’s leader in retail sales for the sixteenth consecutive year. In calendar year 2007, gross retail sales exceeded $6.15 billion and surpassed any other SC City by over $2 billion.

To support the Charleston metropolitan area's robust tourism industry, North Charleston continues to expand its inventory of hotel accommodations. By the end of 2009, North Charleston will have 7,246 rooms available for our visitors.

After years of development, community input and revisions, the Noisette Community Master Plan was finalized in a contractual agreement in early 2004. The plan seeks to preserve historic architectural styles, neighborhood diversity and the area’s unique social fabric. It also works to restore environmental stability and beauty, attract jobs, improve services like education and health care, reduce dependence on car travel, promote recreation, eliminate the foundations of crime and poverty, and strengthen the sense of pride that most North Charleston residents feel toward their city.

In 2004, the US Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) became the largest employer in the Tri-County metropolitan area. In 2009, Boeing bought out Vought Aircrafts' operation in North Charleston to become a major player in the city's growing aircraft industry.

North Charleston is the home of a Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP). It is part of an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide mail order prescriptions to veterans using computerization at strategic locations throughout the United States.

Since the construction of Palmetto Commerce Parkway, many businesses have located and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in North Charleston’s local economy. Some include, Venture Aerobearings, Daimler Vans Manufacturing, Cummins Turbo, and the VTL Group. Industrial hubs, such as this one, continue to provide high paying jobs in the area’s economy.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 76.6 square miles (160.8 km2).

Coliseum

From its establishment in August 1999, the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex has attracted millions of guests and visitors to the greater Charleston area and contributed significantly to the regional and local economy. The Complex includes exhibition halls, ballrooms and meeting rooms, the Performing Arts Theater, the North Charleston Coliseum and the Embassy Suites. The North Charleston Coliseum is located in North Charleston near the Charleston International Airport. The coliseum is one of the biggest in South Carolina with 14,000 seats. The coliseum is home to the South Carolina Stingrays hockey team of the East Coast Hockey League. The coliseum also hosts many special events, concerts, and local graduations.

Education

The city of North Charleston is served by the Charleston County School District and Dorchester School District II. The public schools located in the city are as followed:

High Schools grades 9-12

Academic Magnet High School

Fort Dorchester High School

Garrett High School

Greg Mathis Charter High School

R.B. Stall High School

North Charleston High School

Middle Schools grades 6-8

Alice Birney Middle School

Brentwood Middle School

Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science

Morningside Middle School

Oakbrook Middle School

River Oaks Middle School

Elementary Schools grades K-5

A.C. Corcoran Elementary School

Chicora Elementary School

Eagle Nest Elementary School

Edmund A. Burns Elementary School

Fort Dorchester Elementary School

Goodwin Elementary School

Hunley Park Elementary School

Ladson Elementary School

Lambs Elementary School

Malcolm C. Hursey Elemetary School

Mary Ford Elementary School

Matilda F. Dunston Elementary School

Midland Park Elementary School

North Charleston Elementary School

Oakbrook Elementary School

Pepperhill Elementary School

Susan G. Boykin Academy

Windsor Hill Elementary School

Schools of varied grades

Charleston County School of the Arts (6-12)

Liberty Hill Academy (K-12)

Military Magnet Academy (6-12)

Transportation

North Charleston has many highways, including Interstate 26 and 526, US Highways 78 and 52 and State Highways 7 and 642. Charleston County's Charleston International Airport and Charleston Air Force Base were annexed into the city limits early in its history and are now part of the city's jurisdiction. North Charleston is also a port and rail city.

Airlines

Charleston County's Charleston International Airport and the Charleston Air Force Base provide commercial and military air service for the region. The airport currently serves more than 1.1 million passengers annually and 14.9 million pounds of freight with a total of 108,438 flights. Commercial Airlines inlcude AirTran, AmericanAirlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, United Express, and US Airways.

Motor Freight

The metropolitan area is served by approximately 100 motor carriers servicing routes throughout the US.

Port Facilities

The South Carolina State Ports Authority has four intermodal facilities, one of which is located in North Charleston. Each facility handles container, bulk, and break bulk cargo. With more than 2 million square feet of warehouse and storage space, the port terminals can accommodate more than 17 vessels at a time.

Railroads

Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, the CSX System and the South Carolina Railroad Commission serve the region.

Public Transportation

The city is also served by a bus system, operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). The majority of the urban area is served by regional fixed route buses which are also equipped with bike racks as part of the system's Rack & Ride program.

Rural parts of the city and metropolitan area are served by a different bus system, operated by Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Rural Transportation Management Association (BCD-RTMA).

Industry

Local Military Units

Coast Guard

  • USCGC DALLAS (WHEC-716), berthed at Pier Papa.
  • USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC-721), berthed at Pier Papa.
  • USCGC OAK (WLB-211), berthed at Pier Papa.

Navy

  • Charleston Naval Hospital

Army

  • Charleston Army Depot

Air Force

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 79,641 people, 29,783 households, and 18,971 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,360.6 people per square mile (525.3/km2). There were 33,631 housing units at an average density of 574.5/sq mi (221.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.41% African American, 44.76% White, 0.44% Native American, 1.59% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.78% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.97% of the population.

There were 29,783 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.0% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 13.4% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,307, and the median income for a family was $32,868. Males had a median income of $26,681 versus $20,718 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,361. About 19.9% of families and 23.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.8% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government

The city is run by an elected Mayor-council government system with the mayor acting as the chief administrator and the executive officer of the municipality. The mayor also presides over city council meetings and has a vote, the same as other council members.

Mayor

  • Current Mayor
    • R. Keith Summey
  • Previous Mayors
    • John E. Bourne Jr.
    • Robert Kinard
    • Kenneth McClure (Interim Mayor)

Council Members

  • Steve Ayer
  • Ed Astle
  • Micheal Brown
  • Sam Hart
  • Rhonda Jerome
  • Bobby Jameson
  • Robert King
  • Phoebe Miller
  • Kurt Taylor
  • Dorothy Williams

Police Department

The North Charleston Police Department was formed in 1973 with 21 officers and five support personnel. Today, the department employs over 300 sworn officers and 100 civilian employees.

Sports

See also

References

External links


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