W. B. Smith Whaley House

Also known as: Dunbar Funeral Home
1527 Gervais St., Columbia, South Carolina


W. B. Smith Whaley House, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


The Dunbar Funeral Home is significant for its Queen Anne architecture and its association with W.B. Smith Whaley, an important figure in Columbia’s development. It was designed and constructed in 1892-1893 by W.B. Smith Whaley as his private residence. Whaley, in conjunction with architect Gadsden E. Shand, specialized in the design, engineering and building of cotton mills as well as in the construction of residences. His firm was responsible for the design and construction of Olympia, Granby and Richland cotton mills. Whaley was also president of the Columbia Electric Street Railway and Mill Stable Company. The house was used as a residence until 1924 when it became Dunbar Funeral Home. The house is a unique example of high Queen Anne style architecture in Columbia. Its stylistic form and detail with its corner turret, irregular plan and variety of wall texture (shingles and horizontal boards) distinguish it as the only structure of this type in Columbia. The house also features a large front gable with a tripartite window and a long curving front porch which has been enclosed. Other alterations to the property consist of the addition of a porte cochere and a brick outbuilding. The interior remains largely unaltered and features original mantels and hardware. Listed in the National Register March 2, 1979. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 1979
Reference number
NR name
Whaley, W. B. Smith, House
Architectural style
Victorian: Queen Anne
Areas of significance
Commerce; Engineering; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1892; 1893

Update Log 

  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 20, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller