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  1. Arsenal Hill Site of Phoenix Fire Company Northwest Corner of Taylor & Assembly Streets
  2. Arsenal Hill Sidney/Seaboard/Finlay Park West Side of 1600 & 1700 Block of Assembly Street
  3. Arsenal Hill Site of USO Club Southwest Corner of Laurel & Assembly Streets
  4. Arsenal Hill Veterans Administration Building 1801 Assembly Street
  5. Arsenal Hill Site of Municipal Waterworks Northwest Corner of Laurel & Park Streets
  6. Arsenal Hill Palmetto Armory and Ironworks 1802 Lincoln Street
  7. Arsenal Hill Site of Arsenal Academy/South Carolina Governor's Mansion 800 Richland Street
  8. Arsenal Hill Caldwell-Boylston House 829 Richland Street
  9. Arsenal Hill Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse 901 Richland Street
  10. Arsenal Hill 2001 Park Street 2001 Park Street
  11. Arsenal Hill Saint Timothy's Episcopal Church 900 Calhoun Street
  12. Arsenal Hill South Carolina Memorial Garden 1919 Lincoln Street
  13. Arsenal Hill The Lace House 803 Richland Street
  14. Arsenal Hill Corner Richland and Pulaski Streets Corner Richland and Pulaski Streets
  15. Arsenal Hill Ellington House 614 Blanding Street
  16. Arsenal Hill Shotgun House 1724 Wayne Street
  17. Arsenal Hill Richard Samuel Roberts House 1717 Wayne Street
  18. Arsenal Hill 1716 Wayne Street 1716 Wayne Street
  19. Arsenal Hill Cornwell Tourist Home 1713 Wayne Street
  20. Arsenal Hill Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery North Side of Taylor Street, 700 Block
  21. Arsenal Hill Kenner House 817 Calhoun Street
  22. Arsenal Hill 1715 Gadsden Street 1715 Gadsden Street
  23. Arsenal Hill 2001 Pulaski Street 2001 Pulaski Street
  24. Arsenal Hill 700 Block Richland Street 700 Block Richland Street
  25. Arsenal Hill 500-700 Blocks of Calhoun Street 500-700 Blocks of Calhoun Street
  26. Arsenal Hill 1708 Wayne Street 1708 Wayne Street
  27. Arsenal Hill Seaboard Park Seaboard Park
  28. Arsenal Hill 1600 Block Wayne Street 1600 Block Wayne Street
  29. Arsenal Hill 1801 Gadsden Street 1801 Gadsden Street
  30. Arsenal Hill 700 Block Blanding Street 700 Block Blanding Street
  31. Arsenal Hill 900 Block Laurel Street 900 Block Laurel Street
  32. Arsenal Hill 600 Block Blanding Street 600 Block Blanding Street
  33. Arsenal Hill Corner Taylor & Pulaski Streets Corner Taylor & Pulaski Streets
  34. Arsenal Hill Corner Gadsden & Calhoun Streets Corner Gadsden & Calhoun Streets
  35. Arsenal Hill 2000 Block Park Street 2000 Block Park Street
  36. Arsenal Hill 1716 Pulaski Street 1716 Pulaski Street

1

Arsenal Hill

Site of Phoenix Fire Company

Phoenix Fire Company, circa-1904
Image courtesy South Carolina State Museum

Columbia's earliest fire protection came from volunteer companies whose engine houses were the venue for monthly meetings and social gatherings. The Phoenix Hook and Ladder Company, initially known as the Ax, Ladder, and Hook Company, maintained a facility overlooking Sidney Park. During the antebellum period, both free and enslaved blacks could serve within the ranks of the engine companies but were barred from working with the Ax, Ladder, and Hook Company.

Speaking horns

Much like modern day bullhorns, speaking horns allowed fire chiefs to communicate with their firemen during the 19thcentury. Three examples of antebellum ceremonial horns are known to exist today. Crafted in coin silver by unknown makers, these pieces feature engravings of images and names of important fire company presidents who operated in Columbia before the creation of the city's municipal fire department.

Two are held within the collection of the City of Columbia Fire Department Museum. One carries the inscription, "To the Independent Fire Engine Company by Robert Latta as a testimonial of respect for their exertions at the great fire on the 11th and 12th of April 1842." The second, which dates to 1858, is engraved "To the Independent Fire Engine Company of Columbia by Eagle Fire Engine Company of Charleston, Nov. 16 1858" and "Presidents of the Independent Fire Engine Company." A third horn, held within a private collection, was presented to William Byrd Stanley, the president of the Palmetto Fire Engine Company, by its members, most likely just before the Civil War, as it features a series of engravings depicting such fire fighting icons as axes, pikes, a helmet, and a trumpet. The inclusion of a fire engine may specifically reference the Rhode Island-built engine that the company acquired in 1859.

Arsenal Hill

Site of Phoenix Fire Company

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2

Arsenal Hill

Sidney/Seaboard/Finlay Park

Panoramic of Columbia, South Carolina by Augustus Grinevald, circa-1859
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Local publisher and city council member Algernon Sidney Johnston oversaw the building of a public park here in the 1840s. Featuring trees, paths, reflecting pools, benches, and a bandstand, this pastoral retreat was named in his honor in 1852. The city sold the park in 1899 to the Seaboard Airline Railroad, which turned the area into an industrial district. Ninety years later, the area was reborn as a public green space and named in honor of Kirkman Finlay, the visionary mayor credited with much of Columbia's downtown revitalization.

Unscathed during the fires that damaged one third of the city in February 1865, Sidney Park continued to be a much enjoyed setting for socializing and recreation over the following three decades. Promoters of the capital city's amenities often referenced the park in literature. Following considerable public debate, Columbia's largest public green space was destroyed in the late 1890s by city boosters who ached to embrace a "New South" vision for their city that demanded concessions for increased commercial development and heightened transportation. Initially intended for use as a switching yard for the Seaboard Airline Railway, the land ultimately became the location for a handful of other businesses. By the 1960s, conditions within the now-commercial district and the largely residential areas surrounding prompted city planners to envision what they believed would be a brighter future. Within a generation, the existence of this near-century old commercial use had been erased, as had the vast majority of housing deemed as dilapidated or substandard by officials. In their place today, rests a resurrected park and an area known as Governor's Hill situated on its northwest corner.

In his 1869 map of Columbia, civil engineer Alexander Y. Lee included interesting details of Sidney Park, including references to trees, a fountain, reservoir, paths, and some of the entities bordering the sixteen-acre tract, such as a guard house and the Phoenix Hook and Ladder Company fire house.

Excerpt of Alexander Y. Lee Map of Columbia, 1869
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Sidney Park was among a series of important local sites included in a souvenir booklet published in 1883.

Sidney Park, 1883
Historic Columbia Foundation Collection

Though referred to as Seaboard Park, the five-block area was anything but the verdant district known as Sidney Park for over two generations.

Seaboard Park, 1920s-era postcard
Historic Columbia Foundation Collection

A housing inspector from 1955 until 1965 and later director from 1965 to 1980 for the Columbia Rehabilitation Commission, Joseph E. Winter (1920-1992) extensively photographed areas of the city targeted for urban renewal. His collection of over 4000 images, taken mostly during the mid 1960s, chronicled portions of the city whose residents would be forced out by redevelopment intended for greater public benefit.

Seaboard Park "Fight Blight" cleaning, circa-1965.
Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Photographer Charles Old captured important city landscapes and landmarks during the 1940s through 1950s, most notably in what have become iconic panoramic views of areas long since changed. One of Seaboard Park's most remembered tenants was the Dixie Ice Company, framed here by the spires of Sidney Park Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (on the left) and St. Peter's Catholic Church (middle right background). Many Arsenal Hill residents remember buying coal for their fireplaces within this light-industrial section, too.

Dixie Ice building, circa-1942
Image courtesy Charles Old Collection, Hunter Clarkson

For city planners, conditions found within late 19th- and early 20th-century housing that stood adjacent to Seaboard Park were perceived as a barrier to the eventual revitalization of the area back into a public green space. Houses like these modest bungalows at 1713 and 1715 Lincoln Street once stood where the Governor's Hill development rests today.

1713 and 1715 Lincoln Street houses.
Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Jeannine Callahan describes children sliding down Arsenal Hill

Arsenal Hill

Sidney/Seaboard/Finlay Park

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3

Arsenal Hill

Site of USO Club

John Hensel Photograph Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

Separate facilities for black and whites were maintained during World War II at the United Services Organization (USO). It established its main building for whites in 1942 overlooking then Seaboard Park. Deemed "new and swanky" by The State newspaper, this landmark provided "wholesome entertainment" and "offered a two-mile view of the city to the 5,000 guests it entertained each day." The club at 1030 Assembly Street was demolished in 1966 for construction of today's Post Office.

Photographed in 1943, Evelyn Brunson Tracey relaxes on the USO building's balcony, which overlooked Seaboard Park. In the background loom other city landmarks including St. Peter's Catholic Church, the Wade Hampton Hotel and the Palmetto and Barringer buildings.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Designed to follow the contour of Seaboard Park's northeast corner, the USO Club proved popular with both white servicemen and locals alike.

Colorized postcard, circa-1945
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Curren Craft describes the USO Club

Arsenal Hill

Site of USO Club

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4

Arsenal Hill

Veterans Administration Building

Taylor House by Augustus Grinevald, circa-1859
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Built in 1949, today's federal building replaced the sprawling Beaus-Arts style mansion of businessman Edwin Wales Robertson and later Edwin G. Seibels. An earlier structure, the circa-1793 home of John Taylor, much of whose lands became the City of Columbia, was a prominent landmark until destroyed by fire in 1893.

Situated atop what would become Sidney Park, the Taylor house came to benefit from both the breezes and views afforded a hill-top residence. Shown here just before its destruction, the property featured impressive gardens much like those of other Arsenal Hill mansions.

Taylor House, circa-1893
Image courtesy The R.L. Bryan Company

Designed by architect James Bright, the home of banker, developer, and industrialist Edwin Wales Robertson, dwarfed other Arsenal Hill properties, residential and otherwise, and was considered by many at the time of its construction in 1903 to be the city's finest house. Before his death in 1928, Robertson would play a major role in the development of Camp Jackson and the suburb of Wales Garden. The massive landmark featured extensive Italian marble detailing, an elevator, a Mosler safe, built-in cabinetry, and rooms of Honduran mahogany. These and other expensive aspects of the home, including furniture, were sold in July 1949 in preparation for the property's demolition later that year.

Edwin Wales Robertson House, 1930s
Image courtesy The R.L. Bryan Company

Photographer John Hensel tracked the change that the construction of the Veterans Administration building made to the Arsenal Hill neighborhood beginning in the fall of 1949. Following the demolition of the Robertson-Seibels Mansion, the "standpipe," or water tower, that supplied the area with water service, as part of the municipal waterworks became more visible, albeit temporarily, until the full height of the new federal building was achieved.

Construction of Federal Building, circa-1949
John Hensel Photograph Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

Hensel's efforts included not only documenting the building's construction but also acknowledging some of the people involved in the project, including this currently-unidentified crew of African-American plasterers and their white supervisor.

Arsenal Hill

Veterans Administration Building

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5

Arsenal Hill

Site of Municipal Waterworks

Detail from map of Columbia, South Carolina by John B. Jackson, 1850
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The foundation for Columbia's earliest water service was laid in 1819, when city officials contracted with Abraham Blanding. Blanding's gravity-fed system involved a 12-horsepower English-made steam engine that pumped water from a natural spring in what would become Sidney Park into a reservoir at the top of Arsenal Hill. From there, a series of pipes led to fire hydrants, hotels, and public buildings within the central downtown. This facility remained in operation until shortly after 1855, when a new plant was erected closer to the Congaree River.

By 1855, city officials established a new waterworks nearer the Congaree River. Forty years later, a more modern complex was established beside Irwin (Riverfront) Park; however, this effort failed to produce potable water. In 1906, their efforts resulted in establishing the basis for today's main plant downtown. Depicted in this early 1940s postcard is one of the waterworks' treated water holding tanks in the foreground and its filter building, built in 1906 and enlarged in 1916 and 1941. Today, the waterworks is again situated by a public green space – Riverfront Park, which has helped establish the banks of the Congaree River as a destination for recreation and entertainment.

Colorized postcard, circa-1945
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Arsenal Hill

Site of Municipal Waterworks

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6

Arsenal Hill

Palmetto Armory and Ironworks

The extent of the foundry's Civil War damage is evident in this image taken by photographer Richard Wearn in April 1865.
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

William Glaze and James Boatwright established one of Columbia's most significant 19th-century industries here in 1852. The largest foundry south of Harper's Ferry, Virginia, the Palmetto Armory manufactured firearms and edged weapons under a state contract. In 1854, its name changed to the Palmetto Iron Works to reflect a new use – making iron and brass castings, iron railings, saw and grist mills, and steam boilers and engines. During the Civil War (1861-1865), the foundry's three-story machine shop and a one-story foundry wing retooled to produce various cannon, explosive shells, solid shot, and Minnie balls. Federal troops set off an explosion in February 1865 that destroyed the factory's third story. Following the war, the site resumed its pre-war production, later expanding to make machinery for Columbia's textile mills. Closed in 1927, the property stood vacant until 1941, when the City of Columbia bought it, razed its foundry section and smoke stack, and adapted the remaining machine shop for use as a recreation center.

Map excerpt courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Prior to its destruction in February 1865, the Palmetto Iron Works (originally the Palmetto Armory) was physically a far more prominent Arsenal Hill landmark. Only two images that depict the facility prior to the destruction of its three-story foundry are known to exist. One is this undated line drawing.

Line drawing of the Palmetto Armory
source unknown

Local educator and painter Eugene Dovilliers (b. France, 1818/d. Annapolis, Maryland, 1887), in his panoramic rendering of Columbia from the west bank of the Congaree River, represented a handful of Arsenal Hill landmarks, including the foundry in its antebellum appearance.

View of Columbia, circa-1858
Image courtesy the South Carolina State Museum

Weapons manufactured at the Palmetto Armory carry the marks "Glaze & Co." and a palmetto tree encircled by the words "Palmetto.Armory/S*C." Though Glaze and Boatwright received a contract to manufacture 6,000 muskets; 2,000 rifles; 2,000 pistols; and 2,000 sabers for the South Carolina state militia, the order was never fully completed. Declared by DeBow's Review of June 1853 to be assembling armaments in "the most perfect manner," the foundry's contract nonetheless enjoyed an abbreviated existence after it became apparent that liberties had been taken in meeting it, namely the mating of second-rate components from northern factories, whose inspection marks had been canceled, with stocks from local craftsmen.

Model 1852 Palmetto Amory Pistol
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Arsenal Hill

Palmetto Armory and Ironworks

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7

Arsenal Hill

Site of Arsenal Academy/South Carolina Governor's Mansion

Beginning in the early 20th century, the property became a popular subject for postcards, as this circa-1915 example attests.
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Founded in 1842, South Carolina Military College originally consisted of the Citadel in Charleston, and Arsenal Academy in Columbia. In 1855, the institution constructed officers' quarters, which escaped the destruction that later befell the rest of the campus during the Civil War. Following a renovation, the structure was established as the Governor's Mansion in 1869.

This undated line drawing depicts Arsenal Military Academy from the perspective of Richland Street looking south. Both the two-story officers' quarters on the right, which later became the Governor's Mansion, and the three-story cadet barracks that once overlooked Sidney Park, are easily discernable, as well as aspects of the landscape.

Governor's Mansion collection

U.S. Army Captain Joseph Matthews (b. Liverpool, England, 15 February 1802/d. 22 June 1856, Columbia, South Carolina) served as superintendent of the Arsenal Academy from 1845 to 1856.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

South Carolina's Governor's Mansion has changed over time to better meet the needs of its various occupants. In 1894, during the term of Governor Benjamin R. Tillman (1890-1894), the mansion received electrical service, whose advent in Arsenal Hill came hand-in-hand with the installation of an electric trolley line within the neighborhood. Shown here is Governor John Evans (1894-1897) and his family, the beneficiaries of his predecessor's move to upgrade the executive mansion.

Governor's Mansion, 1895
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Durham Carter recalls roller skating by the Governors Mansion

Arsenal Hill

Site of Arsenal Academy/South Carolina Governor's Mansion

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8

Arsenal Hill

Caldwell-Boylston House

Cotton broker and banker John Caldwell built this house in 1825 as a testament to his financial success. Surviving the fire that consumed the majority of the Arsenal Academy to its south, Caldwell's house was later sold several times before Sarah Smith Boylston occupied it. During her tenure from 1910 until her death in 1963, Boylston carefully cultivated the property's renowned gardens. The house is now a part of the Governor's Green Complex.

Illustrated in C. Drie's 1872 Birdseye map of Columbia, the Caldwell House was one of many large homes established in the neighborhood during the antebellum period by successful businessmen. Despite its proximity to the Arsenal Academy and the Palmetto Armory, sites targeted for their military value in 1865 and subsequently burned, the Caldwell family's home and residences of other families escaped destruction.

Image courtesy Library of Congress

Curren Craft remembers Mrs. Boylston and her garden

Arsenal Hill

Caldwell-Boylston House

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9

Arsenal Hill

Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse

Map excerpt courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The land on which the Perry Courthouse rests once was populated with homes of many sizes, whose occupants, at the time that this Sanborn Fire Insurance map was drawn in 1919, were mostly white and working in medicine, dentistry, law enforcement, auto sales, the railroad, the postal service, and business. The African Americans in this area were, like other parts east of Lincoln Street, fewer in number than toward the west and south of the Governor's Mansion. The former density of this block of the neighborhood mirrored that of other blocks throughout Arsenal Hill. This trend continued until scores of properties were erased through the redevelopment of the community during urban renewal.

This recent addition to Arsenal Hill's skyline is named in honor of South Carolina's most prominent civil rights lawyer and federal district court judge. A Columbia native, graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, and veteran of World War II, Matthew James Perry achieved a number of "firsts" during his distinguished career. The first African American in South Carolina's history to be appointed to the U.S. District Court, Judge Perry was also the first African-American lawyer from the Deep South to be appointed to a federal bench with the U.S. Military Court of Appeals. Judge Perry has received numerous honors including the prestigious Order of the Palmetto, South Carolinian of the Year, and the NAACP's William R. Ming Advocacy Award. In 2003, this newly completed federal courthouse was named in his honor.

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse

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10

Arsenal Hill

2001 Park Street

Excerpt of C. Drie's 1872 Birdseye Map of Columbia
Image courtesy Library of Congress

Hidden underneath a mid-20th-century brick façade stands what may be one of Columbia's oldest structures. While the first record of the property was in 1850, the former residence of grocer Rufus D. Senn, may date to the late 18th or early 19th century, based on its construction and architectural details. Before being put to its current use as a law office in the late 1980s, the property served as a rental unit for college students.

Encased in brick and embellished with a Colonial Revival-esque front entrance, 2001 Park Street nonetheless retains the form and visual rhythm of structures whose style was popular from the earliest years of the city until the 1830s. Inside, notable architectural details include wide pine wainscoting and floor boards. Hefty structural roof members suggest the house may have once featured a slate roof, a common feature on some of the finer early homes in the capital city.

Arsenal Hill

2001 Park Street

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Arsenal Hill

Saint Timothy's Episcopal Church

Alexander R. Mitchell, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, established St. Timothy's as a mission in 1892 to provide a Sunday school for Arsenal Hill neighborhood children. A small cruciform, wood frame chapel was erected within this block in 1895, but was destroyed by fire in 1912. Work began on the current Gothic-style structure in 1913 on land that the church acquired for expansion, with services held for the first time within the new sanctuary in February of the following year. Due to its proximity to the Governor's Mansion, the church often has been called the "church of the governors."

St. Timothy's first sanctuary was not just seen by those who passed by the former wood frame structure, but also by anyone who may have received a postcard such as this one mailed in 1908, interestingly from Greensboro, North Carolina.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Arsenal Hill

Saint Timothy's Episcopal Church

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12

Arsenal Hill

South Carolina Memorial Garden

John Hensel Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

Established in 1944 by the Garden Club of South Carolina, Inc. (GCSC), the Memorial Garden is the nation's first landscape of its kind created to recognize veterans of World War II for their military service. It rests on land donated by club member Sarah Boylston. Noted New York landscape architect Loutrel Winslow Briggs (1893-1977), who is credited with establishing the nationally recognized term "Charleston Garden," donated its design in 1946.

South Carolina Memorial Garden, circa-1949, looking east toward St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
John Hensel Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

South Carolina Memorial Garden, looking west, circa-1949
John Hensel Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

A conceptual drawing rendered by Loutrel Briggs prior to his drafting more detailed and measured blueprints, miraculously surfaced in a Columbia second-hand store in 2009.

Architect’s rendering, circa-1945
Image courtesy South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Curren Craft reflects on the South Carolina Memorial Gardens

Arsenal Hill

South Carolina Memorial Garden

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13

Arsenal Hill

The Lace House

Named for the intricate ironwork detailing, this circa-1855 mansion is representative of many of the more architecturally refined houses built in the Arsenal Hill neighborhood before the Civil War. Originally home to Fairfield planter and financier Thomas J. Robertson and his wife Mary Ophelia, the Classic Revival style property later served as headquarters for the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In 1967, the State of South Carolina acquired the site for use as an official venue for hosting guests of state.

Arsenal Hill

The Lace House

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14

Arsenal Hill

Corner Richland and Pulaski Streets

Pictured by Joseph Winter in December 1966, the 1800 block of Pulaski, looking south, reveals a dirt road flanked by a raised dirt sidewalk.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Around the turn of the 20th century, much of Arsenal Hill could be divided along racial lines. Affluent whites tended to live north and east of the Governor's Mansion, while African Americans, both affluent and working class, typically lived to the west. Surviving architecture testifies to these tendencies. From the 1920s through the 1940s Jim Crow era, this trend intensified. By the late 1950s, many areas in which Arsenal Hill's black population was greatest were deemed blighted and systematically condemned. Some properties were rehabilitated, and in many instances within the traditionally white areas of the community, former residences were converted into offices. Today, pictures, maps, and oral and written history convey this watershed era in the neighborhood's past.

Condemned notification on 613 Richland Street
Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

This photograph, taken in April of 1960, looks west toward 511 Richland Street in an attempt to capture what city officials deemed as "blighted" conditions within some areas of the Arsenal Hill neighborhood.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

In December of 1965, while looking north onto the 1900 block of Pulaski Street, Joseph Winter focused on piles of debris in the front yards of these early 20th-century houses.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

In November of 1967, 1905 Pulaski Street housed Shuler's Laundromat.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

This group of children at 1927 Pulaski Street posed for Joseph Winter, during the photographer's visit in November of 1967.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

This family at 1808 Pulaski Street was pictured as its members congregated on their front stoop during October of 1967.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Children stand on the front steps of 1812 Pulaski Street in September of 1967.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

James Carter describes the character of Arsenal Hill

Arsenal Hill

Corner Richland and Pulaski Streets

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Arsenal Hill

Ellington House

Brick mason and architect Page Ellington, a prominent member of Columbia's elite Reconstruction-era African-American community, once owned this Federal Style residence. Ellington is remembered as having "the respect and confidence of everyone who knew him" and was responsible for major improvements to the State Hospital's Babcock Building and for installing a 185-foot steeple spire on the First Presbyterian Church in 1884. Originally a member of Bethel Methodist Church, he later served as the Sunday school superintendent at Ladson Presbyterian Church for 33 years.

Babcock Building, circa-1905
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Arsenal Hill

Ellington House

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16

Arsenal Hill

Shotgun House

"Shotgun" style houses take their nickname from the structure's floor plan, which called for the building to be one room wide with subsequent rooms connecting directly to the next without hallways. Supposedly, a shotgun blast from the front of the house would pass through the backdoor without ever hitting a wall. Typically, parlors were located in the front, kitchens in the rear, and bedrooms in between. This modest plan suited narrow urban lots, and houses of this style once were prevalent throughout areas of Arsenal Hill that lay closer to Huger Street.

Arsenal Hill

Shotgun House

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17

Arsenal Hill

Richard Samuel Roberts House

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
From A True Likeness, The Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts: 1920-1936. ©The Estate of Richard Samuel Roberts, by permission of Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc.

Florida native Richard Samuel Roberts lived here from 1920 until his death in 1936. A self-taught photographer, Roberts initially worked out of a shed in his backyard for two years, later relocating his studio to 1119 Washington Street in the heart of Columbia's black commercial district. His documentation of ordinary and influential African Americans during the 1920s and 1930s offers an unparalleled perspective on life during the Jim Crow era. Following his death in 1936, Robert's legacy was largely forgotten until 1982 when his son discovered thousands of intact glass plate negatives under the house. This discovery changed the way modern historians interpret the lives of black Columbians during the early 20th century.

Self portrait of Richard Samuel Roberts, circa-1930
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
From A True Likeness, The Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts: 1920-1936. © The Estate of Richard Samuel Roberts, by permission of Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc.

James Carter discusses photographer Richard Samuel Roberts negatives

Arsenal Hill

Richard Samuel Roberts House

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18

Arsenal Hill

1716 Wayne Street

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of 1919
Map excerpt courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

During the 1910s, the Seaboard Airline Railroad established what many Arsenal Hill residents referred to as "the Cut." A large trench that allowed trains to access Seaboard Park, this right-of-way became one of the neighborhood's most visible features that endure today.

Francis Butler, a postal clerk for the Atlantic Coastline Railway and a skilled carpenter, completed this residence in 1914. It was a replacement for his family's original home, which was destroyed by fire earlier that year. Erected for $5,000 with plans purchased from the Sears Roebuck Company, this property is representative of houses owned by many financially successful, middle-class African Americans that moved into parts of Arsenal Hill during the first few decades of the 20th century.

Image courtesy James E. Carter, III

James Carter describes the railroad cut used by the Seaboard Airline and Silver Media Railways

Arsenal Hill

1716 Wayne Street

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Arsenal Hill

Cornwell Tourist Home

A teacher at Waverly School from the 1950s through the 1970s, Harriet Cornwell operated her house as a "tourist home" for fellow African Americans during Jim Crow segregation. Five other homes, all found within the Waverly community, also were listed from 1949 through 1965-66 in the Negro Motorist Green Book, a publication designed to "give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties, embarrassments and to make his trips more enjoyable."

Remembered as a neighborhood leader, Harriet "Hattie Mae" Cornwell, opened her home to not only travelers seeking accommodations during Jim Crow segregation, but also neighbors in need. At the time that Francis Butler was rebuilding his family's home at 1724 Wayne Street, several family members stayed in the Cornwell residence.

Arsenal Hill

Cornwell Tourist Home

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Arsenal Hill

Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery

Excerpt of John B. Jackson Map of Columbia, circa-1850
Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Founded in 1822, the Hebrew Benevolent Society established this burying ground in 1826 on land given by the DeLeon family. The Society continues to care for the cemetery to this day. The brick structure, built about 1860, serves as a meeting space and entrance to the original Hebrew Cemetery.

The original parameters of the burying ground’s brick wall were denoted in 1872, when C. Drie rendered his Birdseye map of the city.

Image courtesy Library of Congress

Arsenal Hill

Hebrew Benevolent Society Cemetery

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21

Arsenal Hill

Kenner House

This house was originally located west of the Governor's Green Complex at 1928 Gadsden Street. It was moved to its present location in 1986 where it has since been renovated. Sarah Caldwell Kenner, the structure's namesake, was an early owner and possibly its first. Originally, the home stood one-and-a-half stories tall; the second story was added after 1872.

Arsenal Hill

Kenner House

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Arsenal Hill

1715 Gadsden Street

This property features a unique blend of old and new. In 2001, a historic Columbia Cottage style landmark originally constructed in the 2000 block of Lincoln Street was relocated atop a newly constructed first floor. Charred beams within the attic of the property and flooring made of recycled shipping crates stamped with "Port of Charleston," suggest a mid-19th-century construction date.

Arsenal Hill

1715 Gadsden Street

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Arsenal Hill

2001 Pulaski Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

A group of teenagers are pictured under the porch eaves of the grocery store and residence of W. E. Christmas in October of 1967.

Arsenal Hill

2001 Pulaski Street

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Arsenal Hill

700 Block Richland Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

These residences at 701 and 705 Richland Street were photographed in October of 1965.

The condition of this late 19th-century dwelling at 717 Richland Street was recorded by Joseph Winter in March of 1965.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

700 Block Richland Street

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Arsenal Hill

500-700 Blocks of Calhoun Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The early 20th-century dwellings at 701, 705, and 709 Calhoun Street were pictured in November of 1965 as a part of the Fight Blight program of urban renewal.

A group of young children plays in the front yard of 506 Calhoun Street during August 1967.

As a result of urban renewal, many houses were rehabilitated rather than demolished. This practice was photographed at 613 Calhoun Street in September of 1967.

The weathered wooden framed structures of 700 and 702 Calhoun Street were pictured in March of 1965 as proof of the neighborhood's "blight."

While this circa-1900 dwelling at 709 Calhoun Street was photographed by Joseph Winter in January 1967 to show the rundown or neglected structures within the Arsenal Hill neighborhood, the property's condition and well-kept yard suggest otherwise.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

500-700 Blocks of Calhoun Street

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Arsenal Hill

1708 Wayne Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The house at 1708 Wayne Street, pictured here by Joseph Winter in November of 1965, was not demolished during the urban renewal program that erased much of the buildings in Arsenal Hill's western section.

Arsenal Hill

1708 Wayne Street

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Arsenal Hill

Seaboard Park

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The edge of the Seaboard Railroad Community previously featured several dwellings that were demolished as a part of Fight Blight 1966.

Members of the Seaboard Park community met to discuss the effects of urban renewal upon their neighborhood in 1966.

This photograph, taken by Joseph Winter in 1957, shows the 900 Block of Taylor Street "in blight" before the demolition that made room for subsequent redevelopment as a part of urban renewal.

The 1950 Columbia City Directory lists "Wall Brokerage Co. Inc., food brokers, Donalan Terminal Warehouse Co. and Perry-Man Electric Co. Inc." at 901 Taylor Street, located near the buildings pictured here.

The city directories of 1910 and 1920 list seven blacks (three of whom owned their homes) and two whites as residents on the 800 block of Laurel Street. Pauline Green was an African-American homeowner, whose son was a hotel waiter and whose daughter was a hospital nurse. N. W. Williams, another homeowner, had a chauffeuring service and an auto garage in his backyard. George Jackson was the last African-American homeowner, listed as a house painter. The 1940 city directory lists a preacher and a nurse (both African Americans) living at 826 Laurel Street. In 1950, John P. Hughes (black) was listed as running a grocery store at 822 Laurel Street. Through the federal program of urban renewal, all of the businesses and residences located on the corridor of the 800 block of Laurel Street were demolished to make way for the development of what is now Governor's Hill and Finlay Park. This view looking southeast from the 800 block was taken in April of 1960.

 

This photograph was taken by Joseph Winter in March of 1965, looking uphill toward two dwellings, whose yards featured concrete retaining walls.
Images courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

Seaboard Park

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Arsenal Hill

1600 Block Wayne Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The 1910 Columbia City Directory lists only one African-American resident, a plumber, living on the 1600 block of Wayne Street. By 1930, there were forty-nine residents living between the 1600 through 2100 blocks. Of them, thirty-six were African Americans, twelve of whom were homeowners. Their occupations consisted of a public school teacher, an undertaker, a hotel bellboy, a mail carrier, two barbers, a postal clerk, a brick mason, and a stonemason. Robert P. Funderburk ran a grocery store at 1626 Wayne Street. This photograph taken by Joseph Winter in February of 1967, shows the unpaved street flanked by weathered wooden buildings.

Indicative of late 19th-century, wooden structures that had aged and weathered in the seventy-plus years since their construction, these dwellings were deemed "blighted" or derelict in December of 1962 by the Fight Blight photographer, Joseph Winter, whose purpose was to record properties deemed rundown by city officials.

The house at 1627 Wayne Street underwent rehabilitation rather than demolition, as illustrated by Joseph Winter in November of 1967.

Images courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

1600 Block Wayne Street

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Arsenal Hill

1801 Gadsden Street

Images courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

These photographs, taken one year apart in December of 1965 and later in December of 1966 show the house’s rehabilitation in which it was clad in brick, which obscured its original clapboard exterior.

Arsenal Hill

1801 Gadsden Street

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Arsenal Hill

700 Block Blanding Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

In May of 1966, Joseph Winter documented what became a common sight, City of Columbia officials condemning houses throughout the Arsenal Hill neighborhood in support of the urban renewal program.

The 1910 Columbia City Directory lists 701-703 Blanding Street as the residence of T. L. Thompson (black), who also ran a grocery story at that address. Joseph Winter's photograph taken in March of 1966 captures the three buildings that made up 703-705 Blanding Street, a commercial/store building, a one-story wooden house, and a two-and-one-half story, wooden house of good condition with a car parked out front.

This photograph, taken by Joseph Winter on August 2, 1956, was meant to show the "blighted" nature of this older dwelling at 718 Blanding Street with its plain wood siding, and skeleton steps leading to the second-floor porch.

Images courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

700 Block Blanding Street

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Arsenal Hill

900 Block Laurel Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Joseph Winter most likely chose this view of 907 Laurel Street not only to show the age of the building’s materials and the outdated construction, but also to expose the absence of modern conveniences and systems. The outbuilding’s position almost directly in the central foreground of the photograph, taken in April of 1960, emphasizes the lack of indoor plumbing.

Arsenal Hill

900 Block Laurel Street

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Arsenal Hill

600 Block Blanding Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

An oblique view of the northern side of the 600 block of Blanding Street shows the similar age and condition of these neighboring houses, taken in December of 1966.

This photograph taken in November of 1965, one year before the previous photograph, presents, when viewed in black and white, a much bleaker sight of the three houses that neighbor those pictured above.

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Arsenal Hill

600 Block Blanding Street

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Arsenal Hill

Corner Taylor & Pulaski Streets

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

This circa-1965 photograph shows a warehouse located in the Arsenal Hill community. The absence of people, machinery or any appearance of work in progress presents this site as abandoned and rundown.

Arsenal Hill

Corner Taylor & Pulaski Streets

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Arsenal Hill

Corner Gadsden & Calhoun Streets

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

This circa-1965 photograph shows a wooden-framed commercial building at the corner of Gadsden and Calhoun streets.

Arsenal Hill

Corner Gadsden & Calhoun Streets

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Arsenal Hill

2000 Block Park Street

Image courtesy Joseph Winter Collection, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

The 1920 and 1940 Columbia City Directories list fifteen and twenty-four residents, respectively, on Park Street, all white. Notice that Joseph Winter took this photograph in July of 1958 from a right oblique angle that captures the paved street, sidewalk and walkway leading from the house.

Arsenal Hill

2000 Block Park Street

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Arsenal Hill

1716 Pulaski Street

Harriet Harvey describes growing up on Pulaski Street

Arsenal Hill

1716 Pulaski Street

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