Is Charleston still a historic city?

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For the first time in history, Charleston is in jeopardy of being placed on the list for most endangered historic places. The National Historic Trust, which put Charleston on a watch status, blames the ever growing cruise industry.

Charleston has it all from shopping, to site-seeing, laying out at the beach or dining in gourmet restaurants.

Amanda Ford has lived in Charleston for 30 years. She is a native of Ohio and says she moved here for a reason.

"I wanted to live somewhere low key, where I could feel the terrain and the landscape," Ford said.

Three decades after moving to Charleston, Ford says things have changed, and not for the better.

"It makes it hard to swallow," she said.

One of those changes Ford doesn't like seeing are those big floating cities cruising into the ports.

"These huge, huge, massive cruise liners, it's absolutely wrong," she said.

Others feel the same way. In fact, the National Historic Trust has put Charleston on a "watch status" for endangered cities. The list includes places that are commercialized and are losing their charm.

Their reasoning is that the city plans to build a new cruise terminal downtown.

"Charleston ought to be getting an award from the national trust, for wonderful tourism management and the wonderful plan to redevelop union pier," said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

Riley says only a small group of citizens are against the terminal.

"It's a small group with a lot of money and influence," Riley said.

He says the change in Charleston is for the better.

"It's more beautiful than ever," Riley said. "The buildings are in better shape, international recognition of Charleston has never been stronger."

A new study shows the terminal would bring in over $40 million for the local economy and create 340 jobs.

Carnival cruises has 30 days to respond to a lawsuit filed Monday by a group of citizens and conservation organizations against the cruise line.

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