Granby Mill Village Historic District

Roughly bounded by Catawba, Gist, Heyward, and Church Sts., Columbia, South Carolina


Granby Mill

Photo taken by Michael Miller in October 2018



Street Views 


The Granby Mill and adjacent Granby Mill Village were designed, built and managed by the prominent textile mill designer W. B. Smith Whaley whose firm was one of the Southeast’s most prolific and innovative. Granby, initially constructed in 1896-1897, was the second Columbia mill built by Whaley, the first being the Richland Mill built in 1894-1895. Granby represented Whaley’s first major technological improvement in mill design, being the first cotton mill in the state to be powered by a “remote,” off-site source of hydroelectric power. The mill is a large rectangular shaped, flat roofed, Romanesque Revival style four-story brick building having uniform fenestration with buttresses inserted at regular intervals and two projecting five-story entrance towers on the front façade. The Granby Mill Village depicts one of the best preserved turn-of-the-century mill villages found in the state with some 112 of the 121 originally built dwellings remaining with most retaining a high degree of physical integrity. The Granby Mill Village is architecturally noteworthy because its predominant “saltbox” operative dwelling design based on New England antecedents truly reflects Whaley’s training and experience during his formative years in the Northeast. The Granby Village’s physical neatness, cohesive character, and predominant “saltbox” design present a distinctive and striking visual impact characteristic of the translation of the traditional New England mill village design to a late nineteenth century Southern setting. The village presently consists of the main mill building, the mill gatehouse, the ca. 1902 two-story mill office building, commercial buildings, a Gothic Revival church and operatives’ houses. Listed in the National Register September 20, 1993. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 1993
Reference number
Architectural styles
American Movement; Victorian: Romanesque
Areas of significance
Industry; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Religious structure; Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling; Manufacturing facility; Church related residence; Business
Current functions
Religious structure; Single dwelling; Business; Manufacturing facility; Multiple dwelling; Church related residence
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Significant years
1897; 1942
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 97
Non-contributing buildings: 26

Update Log 

  • October 15, 2018: New photo from Michael Miller
  • October 11, 2018: New photos from Michael Miller
  • October 14, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 14, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller

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