John C. Calhoun State Office Building

1015 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC


John C. Calhoun State Office Building, East Elevation

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The John C. Calhoun State Office Building, built in 1926, is architecturally significant as an important example of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture in the capital city of South Carolina, for its association with Harold Tatum, South Carolinian architect of note, and with nationally recognized architect Milton Medary, who served as the consulting architect to the project. The Calhoun Building is also significant under Politics/Government for its association with the South Carolina State Highway Department, the Calhoun Building’s primary tenant until 1952. From 1926 to 1940, the department experienced incredible growth under the leadership of Chief Highway Commissioner Benjamin M. Sawyer. Sawyer was at the helm when the National Guard seized and occupied the Calhoun Building from October to December 1935 under the orders of Governor Olin D. Johnston. When resolved, this incident formed a legal precedent ensuring that elected officials cannot use military force to solve political or civil disputes. Listed in the National Register September 23, 2011. - SCDAH

Update Log 

  • October 15, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • April 7, 2014: Added by Michael Miller