South Carolina Hall Of Fame: Susan Pringle Frost

Susan Pringle Frost

Born-(Died): 1873-1960
Profession: Preservationist, Suffragist
Inducted: 2015

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Frost was born into a once prominent Charleston family in 1873. She studied for two years at Saint Mary's Episcopal boarding school in Raleigh, North Carolina and later worked as secretary to architect Bradford Lee Gilbert and court stenographer for the U.S. District Court in Charleston. Frost was active in the women's suffrage movement and was first president of the Charleston Equal Suffrage League. She also was among the early proponents of historic preservation in Charleston, helping to found the Society for the Preservation of Old Dwellings (later the Preservation Society of Charleston) in 1920. Her advocacy helped lead Charleston to adopt the nation's first historic zoning ordinance in 1931 and she fought to preserve many of the city's best known historic properties, including the Joseph Manigault House and the Miles Brewton House.

In addition to her public advocacy, Frost also worked as a real estate agent, buying, holding, rehabilitating, and reselling historic properties, notably along Tradd St., Bedon's Alley, and East Bay. It was Frost's decision to paint the former mercantile properties along East Bay in non-historic pastel colors that led the area to become known as "Rainbow Row." Frost was an innovator in the field of historic preservation and her approach of buying and rehabbing a succession of properties in a single neighborhood anticipated the modern "area" approach to preservation.