Ladson Presbyterian Church

1720 Sumter St., Columbia, South Carolina


Ladson Presbyterian Church, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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Built in 1896, Ladson Presbyterian Church continues to be inhabited by its original congregation. In 1838, First Presbyterian Church organized their African American members into a separate but affiliated congregation that met at the same site. The congregation is the oldest African American congregation in Columbia and the fifth oldest religious congregation in the city. In a cordial split, Ladson became independent of First Presbyterian in 1874. Its architecture remains today as an excellent example of Romanesque Revival design that was popular for non-residential buildings in the late 1800s. The church features the style’s hallmark round arches, tripartite entrances, canted towers, and brick or rough stone construction. It is a one-story-over-raised-basement red brick building with a rectangular plan, featuring a gable-front roof and two brick entrance towers set on the diagonal. According to WPA records and testimonials from older church members, a renovation occurred prior to World War II which replaced the building’s two wooden pyramidal-roofed steeples and belfry with the castellated towers that are present today. Listed in the National Register April 30, 1998. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 30, 1998
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Renaissance
Areas of significance
Architecture; Ethnic Heritage - Black; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1896; 1940

Update Log 

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