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Old Chicora College - Columbia, South Carolina
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 34° 00.623 W 081° 01.765
17S E 497283 N 3763307
Quick Description: Historic mansion known as the Hampton-Preston House in Columbia, South Carolina.
Location: South Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 4/12/2013 10:17:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMGVPE
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
Views: 3

Long Description:
OLD CHICORA COLLEGE, Blanding St., between Henderson and Pickens Sts. and extending to Laurel St., occupied by Federal and State governmental agencies, was formerly the Hall-Hampton-Preston mansion. Built about 1818 by Ainsley Hall, the two story gray-stuccoed edifice of Post-Colonial design is almost hidden by evergreens. Sometimes attributed to Robert Mills, it has a front portico with Doric columns and a fanlight in the cornice over the portico. Broad iron steps extend from the ends of the piazza into the garden. A graceful circular stairway with mahogany rails leads from the wide hall to the second story; a white marble mantel in the east drawing room was designed by Hiram Powers, friend and protege of the Prestons. Columbia's first incandescent gaslights were installed here by Hall, an early merchant and cotton factor.

Surrounding the property is a wisteria-covered brick wall, with an iron fence on a low wall across the front. Magnolias, japonicas, and sweet olives grow to enormous size; paths are bordered by giant boxwood hedges. Sadly neglected now, the gardens were once famous as among the finest in the State. The property was bought in 1823 by General Wade Hampton I and the design of the gardens is credited to Mrs. Hampton and to her daughter, Mrs. John S. Preston, who inherited the home. General John A. Logan established his Union headquarters here in 1865, and intended to burn it on his departure, but the house was saved by persuasion of the Ursuline Sisters, who temporarily used it as a refuge when their convent was burned, and from 1887 to 1890 as a convent. Franklin J. Moses, governor 1872-4, bought it for his Reconstruction administration. Purchased by the Presbyterian Synod in 1890 for its College for Women, the place became Chicora College from 1915 to 1930. The Columbia Art Association is now (1940) planning to convert the place into a museum. - South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State, Columbia section , pgs. 232-233

The house is now managed by Historic Columbia Foundation as a museum and is known as the Hampton-Preston House.  The house was restored and opened as a museum in 1970.  The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.
Book: South Carolina

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 232-233

Year Originally Published: 1941

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gpsblake visited Old Chicora College - Columbia, South Carolina 3/8/2015 gpsblake visited it