Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium

National Register Listing
Street Address:
1400 Wheat St., Columbia, SC (Richland County)

NRHP Nomination


Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium is the last extant building of Booker T. Washington High School, a segregated school for African American students in Columbia. The school opened in 1916 and became an important institution for the African American community in Columbia and across South Carolina. The auditorium was constructed in 1956 using state funds dedicated to equalizing African American schools across South Carolina, which the state government hoped would forestall a push toward integrated schools. The auditorium is a brick building constructed in the International Style typical of school construction in South Carolina during the 1950s. The building housed an auditorium as well as classrooms for the vocational and performing arts at the school. The auditorium was also used for a number of public events that brought together the school and local Columbia community. From 1956 until 1970, the auditorium served the segregated high school. Booker T. Washington High School and other schools in Richland District One were integrated in 1970-71. The other buildings making up the Booker T. Washington High School campus were torn down by the University of South Carolina, which bought the school in 1974, leaving the auditorium as the only remaining building. The building retains much of the same appearance as it did when constructed in 1956, with the exception of a 2013 rear addition that now serves as the main entrance. Listed in the National Register October 25, 2018.
Period of Significance:
1956 – 1970
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Ethnic Heritage: Black;Education
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
October 24 2018

Related places
Richland County