Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District

Presbyterian College Campus, Clinton, South Carolina

Historic college campus and residential district in Clinton, SC


Nellie Scott Library-Thornwell School

Constructed: ca. 1890

Photo taken by Michael Miller on November 9, 2017




The Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District comprises the historic cores of Presbyterian College and the Thornwell Home and School for Children, together with the adjacent residential streets. There are a total of fifty-two buildings and structures within the district. Although the oldest building in the district dates from ca. 1850, the majority of the buildings were constructed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, with the emergence of the college and the orphanage. Presbyterian College is unified around the central mall, according to the campus plan drawn in 1912 by the New York City landscape engineer Charles W. Leavitt, Jr. This plan has governed the development of the college; the newer, non-historic buildings on campus are thus rendered more compatible with the old. Noted Columbia architect Charles Coker Wilson designed Neville Hall, a campus building. Most of the Presbyterian College buildings are of the Georgian Revival style and are built of brick. Other styles represented in the district include Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Colonial Revival, Neo-Classical, Queen Anne, and Bungalow. The Thornwell campus is unified by consistency of materials and by scale; stone construction is used throughout the informal campus. The college and the children’s home are historically connected through Dr. William Jacobs, who was responsible for the founding of both institutions. Listed in the National Register March 5, 1982. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 5, 1982
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Colonial Revival; Mixed architectural types; Other architectural type; Georgian Revival
Areas of significance
Education; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
College; Single dwelling; Church school
Current functions
Single dwelling; College; Church school
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1925-1949
Significant years
1873; 1875; 1912
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 33
Contributing structures: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 16
Non-contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • November 9, 2017: New photos from Michael Miller
  • September 22, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • November 6, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview"