Wardlaw Junior High School

Also known as: Wardlaw Middle School
1003 Elmwood Ave., Columbia, South Carolina


Wardlaw Junior High School, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov



Begun in December of 1926 and completed in September of 1927, Wardlaw’s significance lies in the fact that it was the first junior high school building in the state. In addition, its design by J. B. Urquhart is a good example of a 1920’s collegiate Gothic building. The grounds, formerly a farm that was a part of a plantation, are accented by large magnolias. Built during the superintendentship of Dr. William Harvey Hand, construction cost of the school was $220,000. The school was named for Dr. Patterson Wardlaw, one of the foremost educators of the South, at the time, a member of the faculty of the University of South Carolina. Before Wardlaw was built, schools in South Carolina were organized into elementary schools, grades 1-7, and high schools, grades 8-11. It is a three-story brick structure built in a rectangular plan with a central courtyard. The entrance is accented by a pointed arch and Gothic window tracery above the doors. The flanking buttresses are infilled with an engraved panel bearing the name of the school, nine-over-nine double-hung windows, and a blind arcade with diapering brickwork at the terminus. The remainder of the façade is highlighted by a cast stone belt course and a series of decorative stone panels beneath the three unit groupings of windows on the third floor. Projecting one-story porches serve as ground floor entrances around the building. Listed in the National Register September 13, 1984. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 13, 1984
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Late Gothic Revival
Areas of significance
Education; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • October 20, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" and Imported Photo
  • October 20, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller