Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building

617 Devine St., Columbia, South Carolina

Photos 

Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building

Blue hour

Photo taken by Joseph Hinson

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Standing tall as the last remaining building that represents Columbia’s once booming cotton industry, the majestic Palmetto Compress Warehouse is under threat of demolition!

The Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building is significant for its role in the growth of the textile industry in Columbia and the state. The vast industrial complex was built to facilitate the short-term storage of cotton bales in transit to textile mills. The complex also provided for the mechanical compression of these same bales to expedite their storage and transportation. It is one of only four surviving cotton compress facilities in the Southeast and one of the largest cotton warehouses in the state. The building is also significant as an excellent example of warehouse design and construction from the early twentieth century. Six major textile mills were built in Columbia between 1890 and 1905. The rapidly expanding industry demanded development of related industries and services, including railroads and warehouses. The growing demands of the industry prompted the organization of the Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company about 1912. The company’s shipping, receiving, and compressing shed appears to have been built at this time. In 1917, the company undertook the first section of the brick warehouse. Columbia architect James B. Urquhart provided plans for the 208 by 208 foot building. The warehouse has substantial brick exterior walls and fire walls defining four compartments on each of the four floors. Each compartment has an arched cargo door on the west elevation, with small, paired windows to either side. The northern section of the brick warehouse, which doubled the building’s storage capacity, was built in 1923. By 1936, the company boasted a top capacity of 60,000 bales of cotton. Listed in the National Register October 17, 1985. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 17, 1985
Reference number
85003237
Areas of significance
Industry; Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic functions
Manufacturing facility; Warehouse
Current functions
Manufacturing facility; Warehouse
Period of significance
1900-1924
Significant years
1912; 1917; 1923

Update Log 

  • October 4, 2017: New photo from Michael Miller
  • October 17, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description"
  • April 6, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added a link to an article about folks being upset with the city for saving the building.
  • March 21, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added a new photo and a link to a city council vote to (possibly) save this building.
  • February 26, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added link to an article from 2/26 The State (SC) about this building's probable demolition
  • February 15, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added link to an article about a court case brought by the developers who want to tear this building down.
  • January 10, 2013: Updated by Joseph Hinson: Added several new relevant links
  • December 16, 2012: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • December 10, 2012: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson
  • December 1, 2012: New Street View added by Andrew Wood
  • November 30, 2012: Photo imported by Joseph Hinson

Sources 

Comments 

Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building
Posted February 26, 2013, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This building is in serious danger of being demolished and replaced by student housing for the University of South Carolina. Updated the page with a link to a 2/26 article from the State (SC)

It'd be a sad day for Columbia if this were to happen.

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Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building
Posted December 14, 2012, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I updated this landmark with a story in the sources from the 12/14 State newspaper about it's possible demolition.

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