Sylvan Building

Also known as: Central National Bank
1500 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina


Historic American Buildings Survey, Jack E. Boucher, Photographer April, 1960 SYLVAN ENTRANCE ON SOUTH AND WEST SIDES.

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey


Street View 


The Central National Bank is an important late nineteenth-century Columbia commercial building, which was probably designed by the nationally prominent architect, Samuel Sloan. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-255)

Built in Second Empire design, the Sylvan Building features a mansard roof covered with slate. The Sylvan Building is architecturally significant as one of the few undamaged examples of this type and period architecture in Columbia. Because of its rarity of type within the area, it is of extreme importance in local architectural history, perhaps the most important building on Main Street. The building is attributed to nationally renowned architect, Samuel Sloan. The building has brick bearing walls, brick relieving arches, and wood floors supported by wood joists. It is three floors with a full basement. Other features include corner quoins on pavilions, a central pavilion with a hooded dormer of double windows, a variety of segmented dormers, pedimented dormers, and windows with arched dripstone with keystone or rectangular dripstone with keystone. Built as the Central National Bank, it survived the panic of 1871 and was absorbed by the Loan and Exchange Bank organized in 1886 under state charter. It has been used since 1906 as a jewelry store. Listed in the National Register March 23, 1972. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 23, 1972
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Second Empire
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Financial institution
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • August 23, 2018: New photos from Michael Miller
  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • October 20, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • February 12, 2013: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • July 7, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER