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"B" is for Barringer Building

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Barringer Building [in Columbia]. Located on Main Street, the Barringer Building was Columbia's first skyscraper; Built in 1903, the skyscraper was initially home to the National Loan and Exchange Bank. However, the property derives its name from the Barringer Corporation that operated there from 1953 to 1974. Architecturally, the Barringer Building draws its inspiration from the Chicago School of Design. Basically, the building is a column. The first two floors constitute a rusticated base. Then, nine floors of red masonry—contrasting sharply with the base—are visually analogous to the shaft. The topmost floor represents the column's capital, which juxtaposes sandstone keystones and garlands with a red brick background. Originally a magnificent copper cornice crowned the structure. In 1979 the Barringer Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.