Wade Hampton State Office Building

National Register Listing
Street Address:
1015 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC (Richland County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Wade Hampton State Office Building, completed in 1940, is historically significant within the multiple property submission “Resources Associated with Segregation in Columbia, South Carolina, 1880-1960.” As the seat of government for numerous agencies since 1940, including the Attorney General and the Department of Education, it has been viewed as a symbol of the state's policy of racial segregation. In addition to the policy aspect of segregation that the building represents, it also has a tangible connection to segregation. The Wade Hampton State Office Building was originally designed with segregated spaces for African American patrons conducting business there. These spaces were restrooms located on the basement level and were labeled on the original 1938 blueprints as “Colored” restrooms. The building is also significant for its architectural significance and remarkable physical integrity. Generally unchanged since its completion, the large six-story building is an exquisite example of late depression era restrained classicism, the preferred style and appearance of government buildings at the federal, state and local levels at that time. The building also has the distinction of being designed by the prominent Columbia architectural firm of Lafaye, Lafaye and Fair, in association with Hopkins and Baker of Florence. The restrained classicism of the building, in accompaniment with Art Deco inspired details, reflects the moderated taste in architectural design prevalent during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Wade Hampton State Office Building is the most unaltered building in the South Carolina State House Complex; all others have undergone significant renovations in recent decades. Listed in the National Register March 7, 2007.
Period of Significance:
1938 – 1940
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Architecture;Politics/Government;Ethnic Heritage: Black
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
March 7 2007

Related places
Richland County