Lever Building

1613 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina


Lever Building, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


Built ca. 1903 by the contractor C. M. Lide, Jr., the Lever Building is a three-story structure with a façade of brown brick and terra cotta and an elaborate entablature and balustrade. The decorative details of the building are in the Classical Revival mode. Walter D. Lever, the original owner, was a successful Columbia merchant known as “Lever-the-Shoe-Man.” In the 1920s the building was used by Draughon’s Practical Business College, a Nashville based business school with thirty locations in the Southeast. Although the first floor storefront has been altered, cast iron pilasters on far sides of building and denticulated cornice extending the width of the building survive. The windows on the far left and right of the second story are enframed by a brick Gibbs surround. The third story’s center two windows have round-headed brick arches with terra cotta pilaster capitals serving as imposts of the arches. Above the cornice is a balustrade flanked by rectangular brick sections with recessed panels. In the terra cotta frieze the word Lever is flanked by swags and torches. 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
Architectural style
American Movement: Early Commercial
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1903

Update Log 

  • October 16, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 16, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller