Palmetto Building

1400 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina

Photos 

Palmetto Building

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress

Map 

Street View 

Description 

At 215 feet tall, the Palmetto Building was the tallest building in Columbia, South Carolina, at the time of construction. It is an excellent example of an early 20th century skyscraper sheathed in Gothic Revival detail. Constructed of limestone and terra cotta, this U-shaped, 15 story high structure has a palmetto tree motif, copper cornice, foliated pilasters and entablatures, decorated Tudor arches with points terminating in palmetto trees, and a stone parapet. The Palmetto Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1980. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-611)

Constructed from 1912 to 1913 for the Palmetto National Bank, the Palmetto Building has an imposing fašade of limestone and terra cotta, with an ornate copper cornice. An excellent example of an early twentieth century skyscraper sheathed in Gothic Revival detail, the Palmetto Building is probably unique in its uses of a palmetto tree motif in Gothic detailing. The tallest building in Columbia when constructed, the fifteen story building rises 215 feet. The Columbia firm of Wilson & Sompayrac assisted the architect, Julius Harder of New York. The cost of the building exclusive of land was $420,000. The building which is U-shaped in plan has decorative facades on the south and west only; the north and east sides are faced in brick. The cotton boll and leaf, corn and vines also appear in the decoration. Eight bays total along the street facades feature highly decorated Tudor arches with points terminating in palmetto trees which fill spandrel panels between second floor windows. Flanking two of the entrances are original light fixtures in medieval mode. The rectangular windows of the thirteenth and fourteenth floors have copper surrounds and spandrels and are set in terra cotta Tudor arches similar to those at the base. The bays are flanked by piers composed of foliage and tree colonettes. An ornate overhanging copper cornice and a stone parapet top the building. Listed in the National Register November 25, 1980. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1980
Reference number
80003696
Architectural style
American Movement: Skyscraper
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Financial institution
Current function
Financial institution
Period of significance
1900-1924
Significant years
1912; 1913

Update Log 

  • October 17, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"

Sources