J. Davis Powell House

1310 Shirley Street, Columbia, SC


J. Davis Powell House, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


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The J. Davis Powell House, built in 1919-20, is architecturally significant as an intact and rare example of the Prairie Style in Columbia. The two-story home is set on a large, sloping lot within the Melrose Heights neighborhood, an early twentieth century residential development that is still characterized by small to medium-sized brick and frame Craftsman bungalows, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival cottages. The Powell family, who developed and built the neighborhood, ordered plans for their home matching those that appeared in the March 1916 issue of Ladies Home Journal. The design of the house is believed to be by Floyd A. Dernier (1879-1934), a house designer in Los Angeles, California. J. Davis Powell contacted Mr. Dernier and paid a small fee for the detailed plans. Constructed with yellow brick, the house has an irregular plan, a broad, low-pitched, sheltering, asphalt shingle-covered hipped roof, cantilevered eaves, and sets of elongated, repeated windows on both floors. Though some of the family’s choices of materials differ from the original plans and some additions and alterations have been made over the years, the house retains its Prairie Style features and integrity. Six additional resources contribute to the historic and architectural character of the property: a ca. 1920 garage with a ca. 1940 second story addition; a ca. 1920 pool house and ca. 1935 pool; four ca. 1920 cast stone classical columns - remnants of what originally was an extensive pergola system; a ca. 1920 goldfish pond or pool; and a ca. 1922 outdoor fireplace. Listed in the National Register September 25, 2012. - SCDAH

Update Log 

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