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  1. Heathwood Seibels-Wilson House 21 Heathwood Circle
  2. Heathwood Joseph Walker House 23 Heathwood Circle
  3. Heathwood Heathwood Hall Episcopal School Heathwood Circle
  4. Heathwood Ravenel-Boyle House 3 Cedarwood Lane
  5. Heathwood Weston & Brooker Stone Quarry House 11 Cedarwood Lane
  6. Heathwood Neighborhood Beautification and Design Cedarwood Lane
  7. Heathwood Cottage House Form 800 Kawana Road
  8. Heathwood Heathwood Park 800 Abelia Road
  9. Heathwood Cape Cod Style House 857 Abelia Road
  10. Heathwood Caretaker Cottage 721 Kilbourne Road
  11. Heathwood Harlan P. Kelsey Triangular Parks Heathwood Circle & Sweetbriar Road
  12. Heathwood Governor James "Jimmy" F. Byrnes House 12 Heathwood Circle
  13. Heathwood Lafaye and Lafaye’s Legacy 3601 Devereaux Road
  14. Heathwood Miller-Lewis House 832 Albion Road
  15. Heathwood Shandon United Methodist Church 3407 Devine Street
  16. Heathwood Site of Heathwood Common School Millwood Avenue and Devine Street
  17. Heathwood Streetcar Line Kilbourne Road
  18. Heathwood Rose-Parker House 3807 Cassina Road
  19. Heathwood Powers House 804 Kilbourne Road
  20. Heathwood Zimmerman-Smith House 805 Kilbourne Road
  21. Heathwood Site of Farmhouse 3916 Kilbourne Road
  22. Heathwood 855 Kilbourne Road 855 Kilbourne Road
  23. Heathwood A Cottage of Consequence 3515 Devereaux Road
  24. Heathwood Devine Street Entrance Devine Street Entrance
  25. Heathwood Site of Ursuline Convent Cassina Road
  26. Heathwood Tudor Revival Style House 3800 Kilbourne Road
  27. Heathwood A Modern Landmark 700 Sweetbriar Road
  28. Heathwood Dreher High School 3319 Millwood Avenue

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Heathwood

Seibels-Wilson House

Image courtesy Bob Seibels

When erected in 1929 for Dr. Robert Emmet Seibels and his first wife, Alice Crosby Doughty Seibels, this Italian Renaissance Revival style dwelling was considered one of Columbia architect J. Carroll Johnson’s finest residential designs. The landmark property remains arguably one of the most distinct homes within the capital city. In 1933, Alice Seibels traded the Italian villa-inspired residence to Earle and Josephine Fuller Wilson in exchange for their Wheat Street home, a property designed by the prominent firm of Lafaye and Lafaye.

The large six-lot parcel on which Dr. Robert Emmet Seibels and his first wife, Alice Crosby Doughty Seibels, erected 21 Heathwood Circle in 1929 was one of two immense parcels denoted as blocks 10 and 11 and “reserved” on a plat created by Salem, Massachusetts landscape architect Harlan P. Kelsey who was responsible for designing the subdivision of M.C. Heath’s property.

Standing immediately across Heath Circle from M.C. Heath’s mansion, the Seibels residence was designed to be an architecturally worthy neighbor. Constructed of Indiana limestone and drawing its inspiration from fashionable northern Italian villas, the imposing house was situated within a setting conceived by E.S. Draper, a landscape architect from Charlotte, North Carolina commissioned to draw plans for its grounds.

In 1933, Alice Seibels, since divorced, traded her Heathwood property to Earle and Josephine Fuller Wilson in exchange for their Wales Garden house at 2028 Wheat Street, which had been a residential commission from the firm of Lafaye and Lafaye in 1920. Although perhaps unconventional by contemporary standards, this transaction occurred in the midst of the Great Depression, when cash was not always readily available to many people.

Construction photographs illustrate the enormity of the Seibels’ project. Clad in scaffolding, the couple’s new home seems to growing out of the tall trees surrounding it.

In this undated photograph, presumably taken in 1929, masons begin to lay the Indiana limestone, some of which stands in the foreground. Behind them sits what appears to be a construction shed on which hangs an architect’s blueprint.

The curbside appeal of 21 Heathwood Circle carried over into the property’s interior under the Seibels family’s tenure. Furnished with a collection of fine antiques and accoutrements, each room’s setting spoke to the family’s interests and tastes. Enhancing each space were architectural details of fine mouldings, fireplaces inspired by classical designs, and in some instances wallpaper depicting natural scenes.

Images courtesy Bob Seibels

Heathwood

Seibels-Wilson House

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Heathwood

Joseph Walker House

Image courtesy Johnny S. Walker

In 1920, Joseph H. Walker, a business associate of M.C. Heath, and his wife, Claudia, purchased the first lot sold within the neighborhood at 23 Heathwood Circle. The Walker family moved from its Wales Garden residence at 505 Saluda Avenue and lived for a short time downtown at the Kirkland Apartments on Pendleton Street until their house in Heathwood was completed in 1923. Due to demolition of earlier properties, this Colonial Revival style structure is considered the oldest residence in the neighborhood.

Biography of Joseph H. Walker

In collaboration with Massachusetts landscape architect Harlan P. Kelsey, Joseph Walker was primarily responsible for the development of another Columbia suburb, that of Forest Hills, established immediately east of the city’s Waverly neighborhood, between Forest Drive and Gervais Street. Perhaps a result of his business affiliation with M.C. Heath or possibly because of its distance from town, Walker chose to build his home near the Heath mansion. In its early years, the Walker family kept two horses on its property.

Though Walker initially worked with M.C. Heath and Company cotton brokers, by 1918 he was with Hollowell and Walker. Three years later, he became vice president and general manager of the AMPE & I Corporation, and president of the Southern Factorage and Storage Company. By 1925, he was again working in the cotton industry with his own company, the Joseph Walker Company, with C.L. Walker, Robert B. Walker, and J.E. Davis.

John S. Walker House

Not unlike other families, another generation of Walker family members established itself within the Heathwood neighborhood. Located at 1415 Heatherwood Road, this J. Carroll Johnson-designed house is an example of some of the Swedish-born architect’s work.

Educated in Chicago and Pennsylvania, Johnson later came to Columbia in 1910 and became well established in the area, rendering designs for many landmark properties including Columbia High School, Ridgewood Country Club, and numerous residential sites in the city’s Hollywood-Rose Hill, University Hill, and Wales Garden neighborhoods.

Image courtesy Johnny S. Walker

Established in 1904 by businessman E.W. Robinson in the Eau Claire community north of Columbia, Ridgewood Country Club was a popular attraction among many of Columbia’s more socially prominent white families. Following a fire in 1915, architect J. Carroll Johnson received the commission to design a replacement clubhouse. His efforts led to the construction of a Tudor style building whose architectural details such as faux half timbering and large masonry chimneys were reminiscent of the architect’s residential commissions within some of Columbia’s suburbs, including Heathwood.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Not unlike the suburb of Heathwood, Columbia’s Wales Garden neighborhood was designed with curvilinear streets that departed largely from the grid system of roads found within more established downtown neighborhoods. As this early 20th-century postcard attests, Wales Garden, like its more distant counterpart of Heathwood, also featured homes of larger stature on cultivated yards with a heavily planted streetscape.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Heathwood

Joseph Walker House

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Heathwood

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Cheerleaders pose beside the former residence’s massive columns for the 1974 Highlander yearbook. Left to right are (BOTTOM ROW): Susanne Powell, Mena Hope, Sarah Sturtevant, Debbie Kamis. (SECOND ROW): JoAna Drennan, Teri Hallett, Wrennie Cook; and (TOP) Claudia Barton.
Image courtesy Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

M. C. Heath commissioned noted architect William Augustus Edwards to design his impressive Neoclassical style residence. The house was completed by October of 1914 with nearly seven acres of gardens and grounds. In addition to the property’s sheer magnitude, features like a drive for vehicles and a fence whose remaining columns can still be seen today offered ample space for the school that occupied its halls in 1950. On the death of M.C. Heath’s daughter, Elizabeth Heath Coleman, the mansion was sold to the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina for use as a school. Heathwood Hall Episcopal School operated out of the mansion until 1974 when it moved to a site south of the city. In 1975, Heath’s venerable landmark fell to the wrecking ball despite public outcry for its preservation.

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School was established by the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, under the terms of the will of Francis Marion Weston. Within eight years of the school’s opening, the original grounds immediately surrounding Heathwood Hall were subdivided into additional lots. When the school moved to its present location south of the downtown area, off Bluff Road, in 1974, proposals were made to turn M.C. Heath’s former estate into the location of the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion. Tragically, the house was demolished just days before it was to be recommended for inclusion within the National Register of Historic Places. To this day this controversial event bears witness to the necessity of recognizing notable historical architecture and its potential value to later generations.

Taken in 1951, this image depicts the Heath mansion following the family’s decision to place the property on the market. Soon after, the imposing mansion would become the central feature of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School’s campus. The ease with which the Episcopal school repurposed Heath’s mansion may be attributed to the property’s eight large bedrooms and five bathrooms within its second floor.

John Hensel Photograph Collection, Historic Columbia Foundation

Photographed in 1974, crossing guards Eric Austin, Noble Cooper, and John Sutton emphatically tell drivers which way to go at the school’s original campus.

Image courtesy Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Photographed in November 1985, senior Elizabeth Dimmery and junior Edward Cloyd walk across Heathwood’s modern campus. Behind them stands the then-new Shirley-Smith Campus Center in background.

Image courtesy The State newspaper

Heathwood

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

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Heathwood

Ravenel-Boyle House

Boyle family children at 3 Cedarwood Lane, June 1951
Image courtesy Boyle family

Bruce Walker Ravenel and his wife, Margaret Middleton Ravenel, constructed this Colonial Revival style home during the mid 1920s. Although holding a Cedarwood Lane address, the house faces south toward Devereaux Road because Mrs. Ravenel reportedly wanted her house to be “like those in Charleston” through this unique orientation. The couple lost the house during the Great Depression and in 1936, Tom Boyle and his wife, Margaret, purchased the residence. In the 1940s, the couple added a den extension on the western façade of the house and enclosed the eastern screen porch for use as a sunroom. Descendants of the Boyle family still reside at the residence.

By the time it was photographed in 1937, 3 Cedarwood Lane had benefited from years of gardening, a popular pastime for many Heathwood residents. Apparent in this perspective of the house is its surrounding grounds’ abundant yucca plants, cedars, and boxwoods. Also of note is the use of trellises that frame the building’s first-story tripartite windows.

Image courtesy Boyle family

Heathwood

Ravenel-Boyle House

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Heathwood

Weston & Brooker Stone Quarry House

Image courtesy Elizabeth Glazebrook

In the early 1920s, Beacham O. Brooker commissioned the talented architectural firm of Lafaye and Lafaye to design his family’s new suburban residence. As co-owner of the Weston & Brooker Quarry in nearby Cayce, he had easy access to the ample stone the Tudor style cottage’s construction required. In the 1950s the property changed hands when Mrs. Julia D. Brooker sold it to the Haltiwanger family, whose name remains associated with of one of Main Street’s most popular 20th-century department stores.

Located across the Congaree River in Cayce, the Weston & Brooker Quarry was a large landmark featured within the detailed Map of Columbia, SC and Vicinity, 1928 rendered by Tomlinson Engineering Company. Today, the quarry remains in operation, although under the different ownership.

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Heathwood

Weston & Brooker Stone Quarry House

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Heathwood

Neighborhood Beautification and Design

Image courtesy Boyle family

Though today’s Heathwood community grew and developed around its focal point – the Heath mansion –the neighborhood was a direct outgrowth of M. C. Heath’s vision for an ordered suburban neighborhood that he sought to establish from 131 lots spread over 17 blocks. Heath personally invited all early residents to purchase into the community, often selling lots to business partners and social acquaintances. The developer also imposed strict building requirements, approving all building plans, and financed community beautification, like planting cedar trees, and constructed the red clay roads. Heath’s attention to the physical environment may be attributed to his awareness of the early 20th century’s City Beautiful reform movement, which sought to improve urban problems through thoughtful planning and aesthetic surroundings.

This early view of Heathwood Hall looking down its east entrance drive (today Cassina Road) reflects the estate’s sophistication. Masonry pillars adorned with concrete spherical finials originally marked the perimeter of the Heath family’s 12-acre estate, as well as the neighborhood’s entrance from Garners Ferry Road (today Devine Street). While the mansion fell to the wrecking ball to accommodate further development, these icons of the former estate’s boundaries still testify to the neighborhood’s earliest years.

Image courtesy Elizabeth K. Manning

Heathwood

Neighborhood Beautification and Design

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Heathwood

Cottage House Form

The numerous cottages concentrated along what were the eastern limits of the original boundaries of the Heathwood suburb are similar to those found in historic suburban neighborhoods south and west of this area, such as Shandon and Melrose Heights. This example of a Tudor Revival style cottage incorporates details such as faux half-timbering, an asymmetrical façade, multiple cross gables, front facing chimney, frequently found in similarly styled residences of a larger scale located further into the historic core of the Heathwood neighborhood.

Heathwood

Cottage House Form

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Heathwood

Heathwood Park

Image courtesy Amy Kinard

Establishing public parks was a central factor in ensuring vibrant suburban life. Within many early suburbs such public green spaces also featured recreational buildings that could be put to many uses. Natural gathering spaces for children, such facilities offered after-school and summer programs in which attendees received a diploma after graduating from “Play Group.” Shown here is Heathwood Park’s kindergarten class of 1977-1978, taught by Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Potter. Maintained by the City of Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department, this neighborhood landmark continues to offer recreational and educational opportunities to area residents.

Signed by Mayor John T. Campbell and leader Virginia M. Baker, on May 19, 1978, this City of Columbia Recreation Department “Play Group" diploma officially recognized that Amy Kinard “successfully completed the work, songs, and play required in the Heathwood Park Recreational Play Group.”

Image courtesy Amy Kinard

This detail from the 1956 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map illustrates the size of Heathwood Park in relation to neighboring residences. It also reveals the difference in lot and house sizes between the one-story residences found on the east side of Kawana Road compared with the two-story properties standing on Abelia and Cassina roads.

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Katherine Anderson remembers crafts and outdoor activities at Heathwood Park.

Heathwood

Heathwood Park

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Heathwood

Cape Cod Style House

One expression of the Colonial Revival style that proved popular with emerging suburbanites was the Cape Cod style cottage. A derivative of true colonial-era New England cottages, these 20th-century interpretations typically are one-and-a-half stories tall with a side-gable roofline. While the overall core of the house adhered to a symmetrical layout, often porches or secondary extensions or wings were added for greater square footage. This Heathwood Cape Cod features a detailed Georgian doorway with grouped Doric columns, a multi-paned transom, and Chippendale style porch railings.

Heathwood

Cape Cod Style House

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Heathwood

Caretaker Cottage

Among the many large residences that front Kilbourne Road this modest cottage stands out. Though today integrated into this thoroughfare’s streetscape, the property originally was intended as a caretaker’s cottage for 21 Heathwood Circle. This “dependency,” or support building, appears to have remained a component of that larger property until about 1940, at which point it began being listed as a separate address in Columbia City Directories. Architecturally, this comparatively modest home features minor Craftsman details that are found throughout some larger Heathwood properties and throughout other neighboring suburbs.

The location of the former caretaker’s cottage to that of 21 Heathwood Circle is apparent in the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map of 1956. Also revealed is the diminutive size of the Kilbourne Street residence compared with larger residences built later along the originally compacted red clay road.

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Lomas Gist shares his family’s relocation to Columbia, prompted by an offer to cultivate the Heath gardens.

Heathwood

Caretaker Cottage

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Heathwood

Harlan P. Kelsey Triangular Parks

Image courtesy Richland County Register of Deeds Office

Two triangular parks, located at the intersection of Heathwood Circle and Sweetbriar Road and at the intersection of Tomaka Road and Heatherwood Circle, are the work of noted landscape architect Harlan P. Kelsey of Salem, Massachusetts. Originally constructed to guide traffic flow and complement the grounds surrounding the Heath mansion, these parks now serve as a decorative feature of the neighborhood by providing lasting green space. The design of these parks was typical of Kelsey’s work, which focused on wooded areas and curving streets that followed the contours of the land.

Biography of Harlan P. Kelsey

In 1914, M.C. Heath commissioned Harlan P. Kelsey, a noted landscape architect from Salem, Massachusetts, to plan the subdivision that would become known as Heathwood. This project took just under six years, as Kelsey began his work in January 1914 and concluded it in December 1919.

Kelsey was no stranger to Columbia, as his firm had rendered an assessment of the capital city almost a decade earlier, in 1905. Prepared by his company, Kelsey & Guild, Landscape Architects, the document titled, “The Improvement of Columbia, South Carolina: Report to the Civic League,” addressed issues ranging from city infrastructure to suburbanization. An excerpt from Kelsey’s commentary reveals his philosophy on new development outside the city’s limits:

“In studying the conditions of growth obtaining in Columbia, we have been much impressed with the rapid development of the outlying suburban districts immediately adjoining the city limits. The suddenly narrowed streets and utter lack of uniformity of plan and administration one encounters on reaching the city’s boundary give a warning that, unless soon heeded, disastrous conditions will result, impossible of remedy, except at a cost almost prohibitive . . . . The outlying districts need the fire and police protection, paved streets, water and sewer systems, and the schools of Columbia; but far more does the city itself need the suburbs, to protect itself against poor and imperfect sanitation, and polluted air and water, and to secure before too late, available areas for park purposes.”

This perspective helped drive on the local level the nationwide “City Beautiful Movement,” which sought to address the evils of the modern world such as poor sanitation, lack of design in development, and a dearth of public parks. On the latter issue Kelsey would make his mark in Columbia by assisting in the design of Heathwood as well as the Forest Hills neighborhood.

Working closely with Columbia developer and Heathwood resident Joseph Walker, Kelsey aimed to design residential communities that centered on park-like and spacious settings. Made evident by the nine parks that exist in Forest Hills and the two triangular parks in Heathwood, Kelsey’s work heavily emphasized green space as well as implementing a design that followed the natural topography of the land.

Heathwood

Harlan P. Kelsey Triangular Parks

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Heathwood

Governor James "Jimmy" F. Byrnes House

Portrait of Governor Byrnes by Benn Lewis, 1943
Image courtesy Coleman Karesh Law Library, University of South Carolina

U.S. Senator, Supreme Court Justice, Secretary of State, Congressman, and Governor of South Carolina, James “Jimmy” F. Byrnes was considered by many to be a “modern-day Calhoun.” Byrnes, a Democrat, gained recognition as a national leader and an instrumental member of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. Later, as governor, Byrnes was an advocate of the “separate but equal” policy. When he crossed party lines, Byrnes became a key factor in the reemergence of the Republican Party in the South. While living in Heathwood, the Byrnes family entertained such notable persons as President Richard Nixon and journalist Edward R. Murrow.

Biography of James F. Byrnes

Born in Charleston in 1882 and raised by his mother, Jimmy Byrnes began working toward his political career at a young age when he left school to work at a local law firm to help support his family. Appointed as a clerk to a local judge, Byrnes was licensed to practice law by 1904 and elected as a circuit court solicitor in 1908 where he spent a portion of the year in Columbia assisting with bill drafting. Solid political connections in place, Byrnes was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served for fourteen years.

In 1924, Bynes lost a bid for a seat in the United States Senate but returned in 1930 to defeat Senator Cole L. Blease. A staunch supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Byrnes resigned from his Senate seat in 1941 when appointed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Resigning from this position in 1942, Byrnes was appointed by Roosevelt as the director of the Office of Economic Stabilization and, later, director of war mobilization. Following Roosevelt’s death, Byrnes served as U.S. Secretary of State under the Truman administration. Eventual disagreements regarding foreign policy led Byrnes to resign from this position in 1947.

As governor of South Carolina in 1951 though 1955, Byrnes proposed reforms centered on acquiring funds for the state hospital for the mentally ill as well as supporting the “separate but equal’ policy. Growing more and more distant from the Democratic Party, supporting Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, both Republican candidates, Byrnes officially crossed party lines in 1960. This shift in support of the Republican Party is considered by many to be a key factor in the party’s becoming re-energized in the American South. Remembered as a great leader for state and country, Byrnes, who had become a Heathwood resident in 1955, died on April 9, 1972.

President Nixon visits the home of Governor Byrnes in the Heathwood neighborhood.

Film courtesy University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections

Heathwood

Governor James "Jimmy" F. Byrnes House

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Heathwood

Lafaye and Lafaye’s Legacy

Image courtesy George E. Lafaye III

By 1929, Hugh M. and Edith Bray had constructed a residence within the original plat of the Heathwood subdivision from a design rendered by the local architectural firm of Lafaye and Lafaye. Led by its founder George E. Lafaye, the firm would have a significant impact on M.C. Heath’s new suburb, with more than 13 houses attributed to its talented designs. In addition to residential commissions, the firm, operating under a variety of names, was responsible for numerous public, institutional, commercial, and religious projects during the 20th century.

Biography of George E. Lafaye

The firm that would become Lafaye and Lafaye began with the arrival of George E. Lafaye Sr. to Columbia in 1900. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1878, Lafaye came to Columbia to work with W.B. Smith Whaley, architect and engineer, who was a pioneer in the industrial development of the state of South Carolina. Lafaye later entered into a partnership with Gadsden E. Shand to practice architecture independently in 1903 upon the closing of Whaley’s office. In 1907, Shand and Lafaye, Architects and Engineers, dissolved and Lafaye practiced alone until 1920. His brother Robert S. Lafaye joined the firm, which then became Lafaye and Lafaye. For nearly the next two decades the firm produced some of the most significant buildings in the state. George E. Lafaye Sr. died in Columbia in 1939.

1 Heathwood Circle

The circa-1925 Riser-Williams House is a Lafaye and Lafaye design rendered in the Dutch Colonial Revival style, whose gambrel, or barnlike, rooflines were easily distinguishable from other, more prevalent Colonial Revival residences of the era.

27 Heathwood Circle

Once the property of Dr. J. Perrin and Margaret C. Thompson, 27 Heathwood Circle is recognized as one of the neighborhood’s earliest houses. Completed by 1925, the symmetrical Colonial Revival style residence is another example of the properties designed Lafaye and Lafaye. A house of generous proportions, when completed, this dwelling and other nearby properties would have nonetheless been overshadowed by its earlier neighbor – the imposing Heath mansion.

Images courtesy Laura Guobaitis

Heathwood

Lafaye and Lafaye’s Legacy

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Heathwood

Miller-Lewis House

Photographed in May 2004, North Main’s Miller House as it appeared before dismantling
Image courtesy Robert Lewis

While a recent addition to the Heathwood neighborhood, this home predates all of suburb’s other residences. Built by the Miller family, which helped establish the town of Eau Claire, this circa-1917 historic structure was relocated in 2004 from 3700 North Main Street to ensure its preservation. The mastermind behind its preservation was local lawyer and historic preservation advocate Robert Lewis, whose commitment for finding contemporary uses for historically important properties has saved numerous sites throughout Columbia. After being cut into three pieces, the building was reassembled and rehabilitated, thus beginning a new life.

Removing the Miller House from its original site on North Main Street took both vision and power! On September 30, 2004, workers removed the structure’s second story in preparation for relocating the building to its new address.

Image courtesy Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis details his efforts to move the circa-1917 Miller house to Heathwood.

Heathwood

Miller-Lewis House

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Heathwood

Shandon United Methodist Church

Image courtesy Shandon United Methodist Church

Originally established in 1909 within what is known today as Old Shandon, Shandon United Methodist Church moved to the Heathwood area after acquiring the former Heathwood Common School building at the intersection of Devine Street and Millwood Avenue. Soon the congregation outgrew this facility, and in 1945, the church purchased its current property on the corner of Adger and Devine streets. The church held its first worship service in the new sanctuary on January 15, 1950, and continues to serve the greater Heathwood community generations later.

In ceremonial fashion, the congregation of Shandon United Methodist Church leaves the former Heathwood School to celebrate an inaugural service within its recently completed modern sanctuary on January 15, 1950.

Established in 1950, the current location of Shandon United Methodist Church has been a landmark within the Heathwood community for over sixty years.

Images courtesy Shandon United Methodist Church

Heathwood

Shandon United Methodist Church

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Heathwood

Site of Heathwood Common School

Image courtesy Warner Montgomery

Though lesser-known among many younger Columbians, Heathwood Common School once stood at the intersection of Garners Ferry Road (now Millwood Avenue) and Devine Street. The two-story brick building, completed in 1912, boasted four rooms on each floor and a second-floor auditorium. As a part of the county school system, Heathwood educated first- through seventh-grade students. By the mid-1920s, the school was listed in the Columbia City Directory, and during the same decade the facility was annexed into the Columbia City Schools system. In 1927, the school was converted to a junior high, the second in Columbia after Wardlaw Junior High on Elmwood Avenue. The following decade Heathwood Junior High was incorporated into Hand Junior High in Shandon Annex. Not long after, in 1945, the congregation of Shandon United Methodist Church used the structure for its church services while erecting a new facility on Devine Street, which it completed in 1950. Afterward, this former landmark school building was demolished to make way for further development at this important intersection.

Ruth Woodruff describes attending Heathwood school and, later, teaching at Dreher High School.

Heathwood

Site of Heathwood Common School

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Heathwood

Streetcar Line

Historic Columbia Foundation Collection

With Heathwood considered to be “in the country” during the early years of its development, one method of connecting the new suburban neighborhood to Columbia was by making use of the city’s streetcar line. Track laid by the Columbia Electric Power Street and Suburban Railway and Electric Power Company connected Heathwood to the downtown via Kilbourne Road which connected to Millwood Avenue, then to Maple Street, on to Devine Street, down to Harden Street, and finally to Gervais Street. For a five-cent fare, residents of the neighborhood were able to easily travel to work and other attractions in town. As buses and private cars grew in popularity patronage of the city’s streetcar service waned and ultimately led to the system demise in 1927.

Heathwood

Streetcar Line

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Heathwood

Rose-Parker House

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

Within ten years of the completion of the Heath mansion, development within the suburb gained momentum. In 1924, James Rose, manager of the South Carolina Inspection and Rating Bureau, purchased a lot in M.C. Heath’s planned suburb. By 1926, James Rose and Sallie Parker had constructed this Eclectic style house on what was then called Hollywood Road (now Cassina Road), which linked to the eastern approach to the developer’s home.

Like most other properties throughout the neighborhood, the Rose-Parker House was set back from the road so that its visual impact would be enhanced by a deep lawn. Notable on this early landmark property is the blending of features found within two architectural expressions popular at the time of its construction. While the overall impression of the house’s form appears from a distance to be that of a symmetrical hipped roof common to the Colonial Revival movement, closer inspection reveals an asymmetrical elevation more in keeping with Tudor style residences of the era. Breaking from the symmetry of the Colonial Revival style, the left-hand side of the building and a portion of its central bay project from the overall façade, an effect amplified visually by the feature’s plunging roofline that draws the viewer’s eye toward the building’s right-hand side. When compared with the façade’s left-hand section, the right-hand side of the structure features an entirely different window layout of individual second-story windows oriented over a tripartite first-story window.

Heathwood

Rose-Parker House

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Heathwood

Powers House

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

Located along one of Heathwood’s longest roads stand a number of architecturally notable residences. Among them is the Powers House, deemed eligible for inclusion within the National Register of Historic Places for its contributions to Columbia’s architectural heritage. E. Capers Powers, a broker with M.C. Heath & Co., had this stone and wood-frame residence constructed by 1923 on the northeast corner of what was then Hollywood (now Cassina) and Kilbourne roads. At that time Kilbourne was not a thoroughfare between Devine Street to the south and Beltline Boulevard to the east as it is today. Rather, it was a wide red clay road featuring a street car line running down its center.

Best described as an eclectic interpretation of the Colonial Revival style of architecture, then en vogue throughout the United States, the Powers family’s house incorporates a variety of design elements. The use of gray and brown stone contrasting with white painted clapboards, intersecting gables, grouped and single six-over-six pane windows, and a main entrance comprised of a solid six-paneled door surrounded by sidelights and a transom combine to result in a dynamic façade. While comparatively a relatively minor detail, the residence’s entrance porch incorporates detailed exposed rafter tails and heavy brackets frequently found within Craftsman style structures also popular during the 1910s through the 1930s.

Heathwood

Powers House

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Heathwood

Zimmerman-Smith House

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

Within a decade of M.C. Heath’s construction of Heathwood Hall, growth of his new suburb continued to be apparent. By 1923, the developer’s niece, Sara C. Powers, and her husband Simpson J. Zimmerman had erected a new house on the northwest corner of Kilbourne and Hollywood (today Cassina) roads. The Zimmerman family’s two-story brick residence blended stylistic influences of the time. Overall, the structure assumed the form of an asymmetrical, hipped-roof Prairie style residence whose brick work emphasized horizontal lines. Craftsman style details included exposed rafter tails and heavy brackets. Meanwhile, minor Colonial Revival style treatments were used in the home’s front entrance. Following the Zimmerman family’s move in 1928, L. Cooper Smith became the second owner of this early Heathwood residence.

Heathwood

Zimmerman-Smith House

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Heathwood

Site of Farmhouse

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Nearly 30 years after the destruction of M.C. Heath’s iconic Heathwood Hall, the Heathwood neighborhood lost another of its early houses in 2007 when this circa-1929 American Foursquare was demolished in order to subdivide its 2.37-acre tract of land into nine plots for development. This action led to a public outcry by many Columbians intent on preserving what they view as central to the context of historic neighborhoods – historic buildings. Their concerns were matched by other citizens who felt that restricting such development actions would hamper property rights.

More often than not, the destruction of historic buildings results in the loss of not only historic context but also materials that can be salvaged to help maintain other vintage properties. Such moves make both environmental as well as monetary sense. Fortunately, in some instances, the entirety of an historic property can be salvaged by relocating the building to another site, a move that allows for architecturally sympathetic infill in historic neighborhoods that have lost aspects of their context through catastrophic events or through demolition by neglect in which sites are left to deteriorate over time.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Heathwood

Site of Farmhouse

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Heathwood

855 Kilbourne Road

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

Situated at the intersection of Kilbourne and Devereaux roads stands a strong example of a Colonial Revival style residence that largely follows the design tenets of its historical antecedents. The main portion of this historically inspired house embraces the symmetry common to many 18th- and early 19th-century Georgian and Federal era buildings, as well as alluding to those earlier design disciplines by incorporating evenly spaced 8-over-8 windows within its second story, dentil molding within its frieze, and a classical front entryway featuring Doric columns and a detailed transom. Where this early 20th-century residence departs from its earlier cousins is in its tripartite windows on the first story, its exposed rafter tails, and its asymmetrical wing oriented on its south elevation. Complementing this residence’s architectural details is the property’s mature landscaping.

Heathwood

855 Kilbourne Road

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Heathwood

A Cottage of Consequence

Image courtesy Patricia Morris

Based on the relatively small sized plantings, this photograph appears to have been taken about 1938, not long after the residence was erected in what was then still a relatively sparsely settled area of Heathwood. Though a cottage in form, this Tudor style property is of a larger scale and made of a far more expensive material than most of its counterparts in other nearby suburbs. Incorporating both pink stone from Virginia and native stone, the pre-World War II dwelling conveys a sense of permanency and stability during a time in which most Americans still wrestled with the economic fallout of the Great Depression. Further notable details include ornate chimney pots and wooden gable ornamentation.

Heathwood

A Cottage of Consequence

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Heathwood

Devine Street Entrance

Image courtesy Elizabeth K. Manning

During the early 20th century passers-by on Garners Ferry Road (today Devine Street) enjoyed an unobstructed view of what was considered one of Columbia’s finest residences. Situated at the end of Pinewood Avenue (later renamed Elizabeth Avenue), Heathwood Hall, Moses Chappell Heath’s circa-1914 Neoclassical mansion that lay at the heart of his 12-acre estate, shaped the development of this prestigious suburb. Upon completion, Heath’s house was lauded for its “perfect conformity” to its “natural environment and conditions.” Though the mansion was demolished in 1975, its legacy and that of its builder remains vital today.

Biography of Moses Chappell Heath

In 1911, cotton and real estate broker M.C. Heath purchased a tract of land that ran from Garners Ferry Road (today Devine Street) to Trenholm Road. At the time, his real estate investment was nearly two miles from Columbia’s city limits. As an influential businessman, Heath maintained an office at 1338 Main Street in the National Loan and Exchange Building, South Carolina’s first skyscraper (today’s Barringer Building), built in 1903. Likely due to failing health, Heath eventually ceased operating his downtown office and died in 1933. Heirs of his property remained in Heathwood and later expanded his vision for the developing suburban neighborhood.

 

Original Suburb Land Survey

Its title reading, "Property of M. C. Heath Estate Columbia, S.C. Barber, Keels & Assoc., Engineers - Columbia, S.C. - Sep. 5, 1950," this 1950 plat of Heathwood Circle shows early development and subdivision of the Heathwood neighborhood. Easily discernable is the magnitude of the family’s former estate and the layout of its grounds. From its inception, Heathwood’s growth was intended to be influenced, if not dictated, by the placement of its primary estate.

 

This map, generated in 2015, illustrates the locations of pillars that formerly outlined the perimeter of the Heath family's estate. Image courtesy City of Columbia Planning Department

A Setting of Natural Splendor

Originally called Pinewood Avenue, the boulevard that drew visitors to the Heath estate from Devine Street was renamed Elizabeth Avenue in honor of Elizabeth Heath Coleman, one of M.C. Heath’s two daughters. The vista from the mansion’s front two-story portico reveals the former grandeur of the property, as well as the size of the now demolished residence.

Located to the rear of Heathwood Hall stood a classically inspired pergola that stretched to the north of the property. In addition to pleasure gardens, the estate also featured fruit and vegetable gardens, all of which were tended by the estate’s master gardener B. VanVeen, a native of Holland, and George Williams, who assisted him in grounds work, in addition to other duties.

Images courtesy Elizabeth K. Manning

Thomas E. McCutchen describes the Heathwood neighborhood and its focal point, the Heath mansion.

Heathwood

Devine Street Entrance

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Heathwood

Site of Ursuline Convent

Sketched by Theodore R. Davis from the vantage point of Laurel and Richardson streets, this panoramic view of Richardson Street looking south depicts the charred ruins of the former hotel-turned-convent on the left. Harper’s Weekly, 21 July 1866.
Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Previously known as “Valle Crucis” and owned by Civil War Colonel Ellison Keitt, the 12-acre property that became Heathwood was once home to Ursuline nuns and their students. Forced to relocate when their original Richardson Street (today’s Main Street) convent was burned by the Union army, the sisters and their female pupils remained at Valle Crucis from August 1865 until March 1888. Seeking roomier accommodations, the sisters eventually returned downtown to better accommodate the students. St. Peter’s Catholic Church retained ownership of the land until M.C. Heath purchased the property in 1911.

Told by one of Sherman’s generals that all religious structures were to remain unharmed as the Union army made its way through Columbia, Ursuline nuns and the students of their all-girls school remained at the convent’s original location on the corner of Richardson (today’s Main) and Blanding streets. Unfortunately, the fires consumed the convent early on the morning of February 17, 1865, as the sisters and their students found refuge in a nearby church. After a brief stay at the Hampton-Preston Mansion and then at a neighboring Methodist church, the sisters and their students settled in modern-day Heathwood, known then as “Valle Crucis.”

Previously owned by Civil War Colonel Ellison Keitt, “Valle Crucis” was home to the sisters and their students from August 1865 through March 1888. Keitt’s property was described as a “…delightful spot, in an elevated position, having a pretty park covered with fine trees, oaks, cedars, pines, etc.” Though the Ursuline sisters seemed to enjoy the grounds of Valle Crucis, the dwelling that existed there was intended for a single family and prompted the sisters to relocate in 1888 to a new facility downtown beside St. Peter’s Catholic Church. St. Peter’s retained the title to their rural land until M.C. Heath purchased the 12-acre property in 1911. From the Ursuline sisters’ early work in education were established the roots of Cardinal Newman High School, an archrival of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, which was founded within the Heath mansion.

Heathwood

Site of Ursuline Convent

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Heathwood

Tudor Revival Style House

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

While architecturally significant properties abound in Heathwood, this corner residence ranks among the most compelling. With its steep-pitched roof, prominent cross-gable, and decorative half-timbering, this unique house embodies an expression of the Eclectic movement in architecture commonly labeled “Tudor Revival.” An interesting component of this circa-1928 property, which serves as a visual landmark at the gateway to the areas north and east of the heart of Heathwood, is an original dependency in the northeast corner of the lot.

The prosperity of early Heathwood residents led many families to hire domestic workers, gardeners, and drivers from other Columbia neighborhoods. In some instances, workers were housed in modest dependencies or in over-garage apartments. Often such dependencies, or support buildings, were rendered in a form and style that complemented the larger residence. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of 1956 illustrates the relationship between the primary residence at 3800 Kilbourne Road and its garage/apartment structure.

Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina

Heathwood

Tudor Revival Style House

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Heathwood

A Modern Landmark

Image courtesy Laura Guobaitis

The avant garde home of Eddie Helms contrasts sharply with neighboring, more “Old World” inspired residences common to the Heathwood neighborhood. However, the inspiration for this landmark was drawn from historical precedents. Enamored of a childhood friend’s modern home on Forest Drive, Helms commissioned architect Beau Clowney to design a contemporary residence incorporating the flat roofs, rounded walls, multiple levels, glass block windows, and austere interiors common to modern houses of the 1930s through 1940s. it contributes to the mixture of architectural styles. The end result was a striking property that marks another chapter in the suburb’s architectural heritage.

Located south of Five Points on Harden Street, the Wallace-McGee House was built in 1937 from plans purchased from the March 28, 1936, edition of Collier’s Magazine. Named for its first owner, Charles A. Wallace, and its second owner, architect and interior designer Glenn McGee, this unique property embodies the tenets of the International Style. From its plain stucco exterior to its extensive use of glass block, this residence emphasizes the beauty of simplicity and austerity achieved through the use of then-modern building materials. In 1979, the property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its contribution to Columbia’s architectural heritage.

Erected in 1939, the George R. Price House, located on Forest Drive, is a builder-designed Streamline Moderne residence listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its contribution to Columbia’s early 20th-century modern architectural movement.

Images courtesy South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Heathwood

A Modern Landmark

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Heathwood

Dreher High School

Aerial perspective of Dreher High School, circa 1947
Image courtesy Warner Montgomery

The third high school built in Columbia, Dreher was erected on a ten-acre lot purchased from Burwell D. Manning in 1938. Originally, the school, which was named after district superintendent Ernest S. Dreher, was located at 701 Adger Road. As the need for additional classroom spaces became more apparent, the district decided to construct a new facility. Work began in June 2005 and continued for two years until Dreher’s new facilities, now under the new address of 3319 Millwood Avenue, opened in August 2007.

Biography of Ernest S. Dreher

Ernest Dreher began teaching in Columbia in 1889 and became superintendent of schools in 1895, a position in which he served until 1918. During that time he orchestrated the first school building program for Columbia City Schools, which included the establishment of Taylor School, McMaster School, Logan School, Blossom Street School, Columbia High School, and Booker T. Washington High School.

Photographed in 2005, the demolition of the original Dreher High School building ushered in a new era for the institution. Following discussion over possibly building the new high school well outside of its original neighborhood, residents, students, and graduates alike fought to maintain its place within the Heathwood area.

Historic Columbia Foundation collection

Heathwood

Dreher High School

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