Wade Hampton State Office Building

1015 Sumter St., Columbia, South Carolina


Wade Hampton State Office Building

Photo taken by Michael Miller in August 2014


View this photo at panoramio.com



The Wade Hampton State Office Building, completed in 1940, is historically significant within the multiple property submission “Resources Associated with Segregation in Columbia, South Carolina, 1880-1960.” As the seat of government for numerous agencies since 1940, including the Attorney General and the Department of Education, it has been viewed as a symbol of the state's policy of racial segregation. In addition to the policy aspect of segregation that the building represents, it also has a tangible connection to segregation. The Wade Hampton State Office Building was originally designed with segregated spaces for African American patrons conducting business there. These spaces were restrooms located on the basement level and were labeled on the original 1938 blueprints as “Colored” restrooms. The building is also significant for its architectural significance and remarkable physical integrity. Generally unchanged since its completion, the large six-story building is an exquisite example of late depression era restrained classicism, the preferred style and appearance of government buildings at the federal, state and local levels at that time. The building also has the distinction of being designed by the prominent Columbia architectural firm of Lafaye, Lafaye and Fair, in association with Hopkins and Baker of Florence. The restrained classicism of the building, in accompaniment with Art Deco inspired details, reflects the moderated taste in architectural design prevalent during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Wade Hampton State Office Building is the most unaltered building in the South Carolina State House Complex; all others have undergone significant renovations in recent decades. Listed in the National Register March 7, 2007. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 2007
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Areas of significance
Architecture; Politics/Government; Ethnic Heritage - Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Government office
Current function
Government office
Period of significance
Significant years
1938; 1940

Update Log 

  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "GPS Coordinates" & "Description" and Imported Photo
  • August 11, 2014: New photos from Michael Miller