South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Gilfillin and Houston Building, Greenville County (217-219 E. Washington St., Greenville)
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Right Oblique Right Elevation Facade Detail Main Entrance Interior

The Gilfillin and Houston Building is an excellent example of the vernacular expression of the commercial style built in the first quarter of the twentieth century in downtown Greenville, during a significant boom period in the city’s growth and development as a commercial and textile manufacturing center. This two-story commercial block, constructed ca. 1915, was built as a speculative development project for Gilfillin & Houston, a real estate and insurance company founded in 1899 by Eugene Alexander Gilfillin (1875-1958) and Louis Houston. The building’s façade, laid in five-to-one American or common bond, is organized into two storefront sections, each being flanked by rusticated brick pilasters two stories in height. Each section contains a rehabilitated commercial storefront with a recessed single-leaf entrance with glass transom, and flanking brick bulkhead and display windows divided into three segments. Above the entrance and both storefronts is a wooden frieze and cornice that visually divides the building’s two levels. The façade’s visual division is accentuated further by the presence of a metal cornice that breaks or is open at the center. Crowning the building’s façade is a curvilinear brick gable and parapet embellished with a central, circular, limestone-keyed and brick-surrounded cartouche containing the letters “G” and “H” intertwined. Listed in the National Register June 9, 2004.

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