Kress Building

1508 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina


Kress Building, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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Constructed ca. 1934, the Kress Building’s façade is the best example of the Art Deco style in Columbia. The Kress Building features a white glazed terra cotta façade, ornamented with colored terra cotta in shades of orange, green and blue, as well as stylized floral motifs and rounded surfaces, characteristics of the Art Deco style. The building is significant as one of the few buildings in Columbia of the Art Deco style. The first floor has two recessed entrances flanked by rounded storefront windows. Three fluted pilasters are located between windows. A marquee with rounded corners extends the width of the store. Above the marquee are eight second-story windows and the words “S.H. Kress and Co. 5-10-25 cent store.” The cornice contains the word “Kress” and is surmounted by a stepped parapet that slopes slightly upward to the center. A stylized floral motif caps the center of the parapet. The interior of the first floor retains its original appearance. The paneled ceiling has a chevron motif. Nine freestanding columns extend the length of the room. The octagonal columns on high pedestals have art deco capitals. 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
Modern Movement: Art Deco
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Specialty store
Current function
Specialty store
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1934

Update Log 

  • October 15, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 15, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller