1520 Senate Street1520 Senate Street
Site of Kohn Family Residence
Orangeburg native August Kohn (1868-1930) and wife, Irene Goldsmith Kohn (1868-1913), arrived in Columbia in 1894. They briefly boarded with Jewish widow Esther Pollock and rented homes on Plain (Taylor) and Gervais streets. Irene was instrumental in reestablishing a Jewish Sunday school, which she held on alternate months at her home until the Tree of Life Congregation's completion in 1905. Irene became a devoted member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a charter member of the Wade Hampton chapter in 1896. She later served as the South Carolina division's president from 1909 until 1911. Irene died in 1913, the same year the couple bought a sprawling residence at this location from William Elliott Gonzales (1866-1937) for $40,000. Upon his death in 1930, August Kohn, a newspaperman and avid book collector, willed his library to their daughter, Helen Kohn Hennig (1896-1961). An educator, historian and writer, Hennig expanded the family's library, which her son, Julian (1922-2006), donated to the South Caroliniana Library, where it continues to provide invaluable insight into the state's history.
Senate Plaza Apartments
Among the architects responsible for Columbia's post-World War II growth and change was naval veteran Maynard Pearlstine. The St. Matthews native began his 40-year career in 1948 as an associate with the firm of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolff. He later worked with Heyward Singley, another highly influential architect, before establishing an independent practice in 1953. Pearlstine championed high-quality, mid-century modern design that incorporated functional green spaces. His diverse portfolio included shopping centers, office buildings, high-rise apartments, residences in the suburbs of Heathwood and Lake Katherine and commissions for the University of South Carolina.