Lace House

Also known as: Robertson House, The Lace House
803 Richland St., Columbia, South Carolina


Lace House, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Lace House has its historic significance as part of the buildings that make up Columbia’s Arsenal Hill, a complex of fine mansions which were built shortly before the Civil War, and which furnished residences for the succeeding political and social elite of South Carolina’s capital city through the early 1900s. The Lace House itself was at one time the home of a United States senator and at another of a mayor of Columbia. The house was built on the southwest corner of the square in 1854 by a respected Columbia banker, John C. Caldwell, as a wedding present for his youngest daughter, Mary and her husband, Thomas J. Robertson. Said to have been designed by a French architect who at the time was designing homes in New Orleans, the Lace House features ornamental cornices and friezes, parquet floors and figured glass doors and windows. It is a double-porched Classical Revival mansion with Italianate details that has an English basement, bracketed cornices, arched doors, and ornate cast iron porch supports, railings and trim. The lace-like appearance of all the lavish ironwork gives the house its popular name. Listed in the National Register December 17, 1969. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1969
Reference number
Areas of significance
Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 1

Update Log 

  • October 20, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • October 16, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" and Imported Photo
  • October 16, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller