The State House is in the Greek Revival style; it is approximately 180 feet (55 m) tall, 300 feet (91 m) long, 100 feet (30 m) wide. It weighs more than 70,000 short tons (64,000 t) and has 130,673 square feet (12,140 m2) of space.
The old State House was constructed between 1786 and 1790. James Hoban, a young Irishman who emigrated to Charleston shortly after the Revolution, was the architect. Upon the recommendation of Henry Laurens, President Washington engaged him to design the executive mansion in Washington. Old pictures of the two buildings show architectural similarities.
Example of one of the six bronze stars, marking the spots hit by Sherman's cannons
View of inside the dome inside the main lobby
The State House in 1969
The South Carolina State House was designed first by architect P. H. Hammarskold. Construction began in 1851, but the original architect was dismissed for fraud and dereliction of duty. Soon thereafter, the structure was largely dismantled because of defective materials and workmanship. John Niernsee redesigned the structure and work began on it in 1855, slowed during the Civil War, and was suspended in 1865 as General W.T. Sherman's U.S. Armyentered Columbia on February 17. Several public buildings were "put to the torch" when United States troops entered the city.
The new capitol building, under construction, was damaged by artillery shells. The old capitol building was set afire by U.S. Army troops under Sherman's command.
The reconstruction era poverty slowed progress. The building's main structure was finally completed in 1875. From 1888 to 1891, Niernsee's son, Frank McHenry Niernsee, served as architect and much of the interior work was completed. In 1900 Frank Pierce Milburn began as architect, but was replaced in 1905 by Charles Coker Wilson who finally finished the exterior in 1907. Additional renovations were made in 1959 and 1998.
South Carolina State House from the 15th floor of the Main and Gervais Tower.
The building's grounds are home to several monuments. On the north side, leading to the main entry, is the Confederate Monument which included a flagpole flying a traditional version of the Confederate battle flag until it was removed on July 10, 2015 by State Bill. The monument was established after a controversy during the state's 2000 presidential primary about the Confederate flag flying over the dome of the State House. The flag, which was originally placed over the dome in 1962 by the state's governor, Democrat Ernest Hollings, to protest desegregation, was moved near the monument on July 1, 2000, after passage of the South Carolina Heritage Act of 2000. It was then removed from the grounds on July 10, 2015 by order of Republican governor Nikki Haley, and given to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum.
On the east side is the African-American History Monument, authorized by Act 457 of the General Assembly and unveiled on March 26, 2001.
South Carolina Soldiers Monument - A Confederate memorial was erected in 1879, and was unveiled before a crowd of 15,000. The monument was largely destroyed by lightning in 1882, but was replaced by the state two years later.
James F. Byrnes - a monument to this longtime South Carolina politician was erected in 1972 after a private fundraising effort.
Strom Thurmond - in the late 1990s, the state erected this statute in honor of the former South Carolina governor, U.S. senator, and Dixiecrat candidate for president. The original inscription of the names of Thurmond's children were later altered to include the name of Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the daughter of Thurmond and an African American maid.
Dr. J. Marion Sims - This monument to Sims, a South Carolina physician and pioneer in gynecology, is located on State House grounds near the intersection of Assembly and Gervais streets. This monument is controversial because Sims engaged in surgical experimentation on enslaved women without anesthesia.
Captain Swanson Lunsford (d. 1799), a Virginia-born American Revolutionary War officer who once owned land that is now part of the State House, is buried on State House grounds, along with a marker erected by his descendants in 1953.
^Ross, Kelley L. (December 2015). "The Police State". Political Economy. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016. [T]he Confederate Flag flown on the grounds of the capital of South Carolina was only put there in 1962, as a protest against Desegregation, by the Democrat Governor of the State, Ernest Hollings (Governor of South Carolina, 1959-1963, then U.S. Senator from South Carolina)...CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
^ abThomas J. Brown, "The Confederate Retreat to Mars and Venus" in Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality in the American Civil War (eds. Catherine Clinton & Nina Silber: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 189-91.
^ abK. Michael Prince, Rally 'round the Flag, Boys!: South Carolina and the Confederate Flag (University of South Carolina Press, 2004), pp. 23-24.
"Confederate Flag Bill Debate". C-SPAN. April 12, 2000. Retrieved June 19, 2015. (South Carolina) State Senators debated whether to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol building. They voted ultimately to move it from the Capitol dome to the Capitol grounds.
"South Carolina State Senate Debate on the Confederate Flag". C-SPAN. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015. The South Carolina State Senate convened for a special session to debate a procedural measure that would allow them to consider at a future date a bill that would remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds. The resolution was passed by voice vote. The South Carolina House of Representatives had passed a similar motion, as called for by Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC). State senators also paid tribute to State Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the nine people killed in the June 17, 2015, shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.