Olympia Union Hall

National Register Listing
Street Address:
119 S. Parker St., Columbia, SC (Richland County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Olympia Union Hall joins Olympia Mill and Olympia Armory as National Register listed properties associated with the history of the Olympia Mill Community. The imposing masonry building is distinguished by the distinctive brick buttresses that are found at the four corners of the building. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the local level of significance under Criterion A in the area of social history. The building’s association with the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) Local 254 situates it within the broader context of Columbia’s economic history. The Olympia Union Hall is an important vestige of the built environment born of Columbia’s long history with the textile industry: it recalls mill workers’ efforts to organize in defense of their rights and maintain and improve the social services once provided by the Olympia Mill company. The union hall building stands as visual reminder of the struggle between workers and mill management that characterized Columbia’s early twentieth-century textile economy and the all-important civic support the union provided for families in Columbia’s Olympia community. The period of significance extends from the building’s completion in 1946 to 1975, when Columbia became the site of the first chapter of the Carolina Brown Lung Association, a group that worked to bring attention to the health problems associated with conditions that they encountered in textile mills, specifically a condition known as byssinosis, or brown lung disease. The Olympia Union Hall would serve as the site of early organizational meetings and health screenings carried out by the Carolina Brown Lung Association in 1975. Listed in the National Register January 24, 2017.
Period of Significance:
1946;1951;1946 – 1975
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Social History
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
January 24 2017