Charleston's Board of Architectural Review eyeing expansion plans for children's museum

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Members of Charleston's Board of Architectural Review sat down Wednesday to discuss proposed changes to the Peninsula including expanding the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry.

The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry had two items on the agenda: they want to tear one building down and put a new one up. The museum is seeking approval to demolish the Engine Shed and wooden fence at 25 Ann Street. Then, it wants conceptual approval to expand the museum to the new space.

Ian Lee and Kathryn Macdonald are visiting Charleston and needed a place downtown for their kids to blow off some steam.

"It was a rainy day so we decided to go down to the city. These little guys needed a break to run around so we went to the Children's Museum," Macdonald said.

"It was fun, the kids had a good time," Lee added. "We were there for about two hours. There's a lot to do. They didn't want to leave! That's the best part."

The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry is a nonprofit that teaches kids through fun, interactive exhibits.

"We're really about this fun, whimsical exuberant space and turning that into children that are the next generation of greatness in Charleston," museum executive director Nichole Myles said.

She reports the museum has reached its mass capacity after multiple years with double-digit growth.

"We've also never upgraded in 14 years which is rare for our industry," Myles said. "It was time to re-envision ourselves and put ourselves in a world class city like Charleston."

The BAR approved the museum's proposal to demolish the fence and shed at 25 Ann Street.

It gave conceptual approval to the plans to expand the facility to the space that will be opened up by tearing down the engine house adjacent to the property. The conditions listed include doing a study on the museums growth and a reexamination of the proposed building height.

"We're excited to get to the next step and get the real work done in building this," Myles said.

"If you're in the Charleston area and you have kids on a cloudy day, come down here for sure," Lee said.

Museum representatives hope to have the expansion project completed in 2020.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.