Veterans Administration Regional Office

National Register Listing
Street Address:
1801 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC (Richland County)
Alternate Name:
VARO Building

NRHP Nomination


Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Veterans Administration Regional Office (VARO) building is a remarkably intact example of an International Style federal building in downtown Columbia. Completed in 1953 to house services and programming for the Veterans Administration, the building is associated with the intense growth of the federal government after World War II, particularly those functions that involved contact with the country’s expanding pool of veterans returning home from war. Designed by acclaimed Columbia architecture firm Lafaye, Lafaye, and Fair in conjunction with Stork and Lyles, the predecessor firm of the regionally prominent Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle & Wolff (LBC&W), the five-story, L-shaped masonry structure also represents the shift in postwar architectural styles from the decorative and classical elements of Beaux-Arts and Stripped Classicism to the minimal and austere aesthetic of Modernism, a transition that that signified the stability of the federal government and the forward-motion of postwar America. It exemplifies tenets of Modernism through its lack of ornamentation, use of brise soleil, and its emphasis on horizontality. Listed in the National Register September 25, 2020.
Period of Significance:
1949 – 1953
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
September 25 2020

Related places
Richland County