Colonial-Hites Company

National Register Listing
Street Address:
228 North Parson Street, West Columbia, SC (Lexington County)
Alternate Name:
Colite Industries

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Colonial-Hites Company complex on North Parson Street in West Columbia was once a thriving and prosperous manufacturing facility, becoming one of the largest manufacturing plants in the country. What began as a merger between two small, local businesses quickly evolved into an international conglomerate. Within seven years of merging, signs were installed in every state in the southeastern United States, all of which were produced in the West Columbia plant. Over the next decade, Colonial-Hites expanded to become a national company, opening sales offices across the United States including cities such as New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis. As their recognition spread nationally, their reach began to take hold internationally, winning a bid for the Ethiopian Adis Abbaba Airport in 1962 and establishing international offices in 1966. The company is responsible for the United States Seal inside the United Nations building in New York City, as well as the signage in the Houston Astro Dome, Disney World, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the largest airport in the United States at the time of their installation. These high-profile projects, among countless others, made it necessary for Colonial-Hites to expand their facility, which they did numerous times. Between 1962 and 1967, the manufacturing plant increased multiple times from fewer than 90,000 square feet to approximately 280,000 square feet, which made it one of the largest plants in the country in 1967. The property was listed in the National Register under Criterion A for its significance to the industrial development of West Columbia with a period of significance 1951-1968. Listed in the National Register May 24, 2018.
Period of Significance:
1951 – 1968
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
May 24 2018