Richland Cotton Mill

Also known as: Pacific Mills, Lowenstein Mill, Whaley's Mill
211-221 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina


Richland Cotton Mill

Photo taken by Michael Miller in October 2018



Street View 


The Richland Cotton Mill was the first mill in Columbia constructed under the direction of the prominent mill architect and engineer W. B. Smith Whaley. The original rectangular brick mill building, essentially unaltered since its construction, sits on nearly four acres bordered by Catawba, Main, Whaley and Assembly Streets, where it was completed on October 1, 1895. This mill signifies the focus of the Columbia community and its development as a cotton textile center in the late nineteenth century. Locally generated design and capital set this mill apart from the majority of local cotton textile enterprises of the period, which were developed through northern interests. Both architectural design and engineering expertise combined to create an efficient focal point of industrial development in late nineteenth century Columbia. The four-story structure is dominated by a single stair tower, centering on the north fašade, rising seven stories. The top story features a circular vent flanked by two arched vents. Immediate additions to the rectangular building included an engine room, a boiler room, and a machine shop, all to the southeast of the main building and repeating the common bond brick pattern and regular fenestration. A round chimney, crowned by corbelling and encircling arching in the brickwork was built adjacent to the boiler room. Listed in the National Register November 10, 1983. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 10, 1983
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Engineering; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 23, 2018: New photo from Michael Miller
  • October 17, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 17, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller