Families With Ties to Upper King: A Letter from Brittany Lavelle Tulla

The time is now to honor Charleston’s Jewish families with ties to Upper King Street.

I am Brittany Lavelle Tulla, lead architectural historian of BVL Historic Preservation Research, and I am on a mission to formally designate Upper King Street as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. 

In the decades following the Civil War, Charleston’s Upper King Street became a booming commercial enclave of newly immigrated Jewish merchants. The area, which extended along King Street north of Calhoun Street, transformed into a thriving commercial district that was integral to the revival of the city’s post-Civil War economy. 

Today, Upper King Street survives as one of America’s most iconic main streets yet the street’s significant history is not formally recognized. An official listing as a Historic District on the National Register would honor the journey and culture of Upper King Street’s Jewish families as well as nationally recognize the businesses they created and buildings they defined.

To make this project a reality, I am partnering with the Charleston Jewish Federation and the Preservation Society of Charleston, but we need your help. The research and documentation needed to create a formal historic district nomination for Little Jerusalem must rely on contributions. We have reached nearly 25% of the $120,000 goal, and today, we are asking anyone who is inspired to donate to this fund. We will also be seeking a business or building owner within the district who, upon the completion of the nomination, would be willing to host an outdoor plaque with the names of those who contributed to this special project.

Please consider donating here to the Jewish Merchants of Upper King Street Historic District fund.

It is time to honor the history of the people who established the legendary section of King Street on a national level. This area is a national treasure and I hope you will join me in getting it the recognition it deserves.



Brittany Lavelle Tulla

BVL Historic Preservation Research