Lutheran Theological Seminary Building: Beam Dormitory

4201 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina


Beam Dormatory

Photo taken by Michael Miller


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Street View 


Designed by architect Charles M. Robinson, and with Wise Granite Co. as contractors, Beam Dormitory was built in 1911 as the first building at the Columbia location of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary Campus. Since its construction, the Seminary has played an important part in the religious and educational history of Columbia and has made the city a major center for the Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Seminary had its inception in 1830 and subsequently went through a variety of locations until a decision was made to construct a permanent campus in Columbia. Beam Dormitory was the first structure to be constructed at the Columbia location and was designed for use as classrooms, dormitory, library and chapel. Constructed of granite with a gable roof, the three-story Gothic Revival Beam Dormitory features a central recessed rectangular core with projecting end pavilions. Central castellated entrance pavilions are located on both the front and rear facades. These pavilions feature front and side arches and are surmounted by a flat roof with crenellated parapets. Changes in the original structure include removal of a wooden octagonal cupola in the 1950s, replacement of the end pavilion gable oculi glass with wooden louvers; replacement of the original slate roof with composition shingles in the 1940s, and the dismantling of chimney stacks when central heat replace the old furnace in the 1950s. Listed in the National Register August 28, 1979 - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 28, 1979
Reference number
Areas of significance
Architecture; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
College; Institutional housing
Current functions
Institutional housing; College
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 16, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • December 30, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & Updated "GPS Coordinates"