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“P” is for Palmetto Building (Columbia)

South Carolina A to Z
SC Public Radio

“P” is for Palmetto Building (Columbia). When completed in 1913, the Palmetto Building in Columbia was the tallest building in the Carolinas and one of the most stylish skyscrapers in the South. Designed by the New York architect Julius Harder for the Palmetto National Bank, the structure is fifteen stories tall and built of steel-frame construction on a U-shaped plan. The limestone base and glazed terra cotta facades feature Gothic-revival styling, foliated pilasters and entablatures, and a specially designed palmetto tree motif. The building culminates in a crown composed of Gothic arches, a handsome copper cornice, and a stone parapet. The elaborately decorated ground-floor banking room features a mosaic tile floor with a palmetto tree inlay. One of Columbia’s most recognizable landmarks, the Palmetto Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.