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

Ainsley Hall House, Richland County (1616 Blanding St., Columbia)
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Facade Main Entrance Right Oblique Right Elevation Right Rear
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Rear Elevation Rear Entrance Left Rear
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Left Elevation

(Robert Mills House) The Ainsley Hall House preserves architecture that is of national importance because of the period it represents, the quality and type of its design, the excellence of its restoration, and the fame of its architect. Its designer, Robert Mills (1781-1855), was a native South Carolina architect and engineer who studied under Hoban and Latrobe and became the first American-trained Federal architect, serving under 7 Presidents. He was the designer of the Washington Monument and was responsible, in great measure, for the national capital’s early trend toward the classical style in its public buildings. Of the few Mills residences remaining in the United States, the Ainsley Hall House is considered one of the superior examples. Since Ainsley Hall, an English-born wealthy merchant in Columbia, died before the house was completed and it was never occupied or completely finished as a residence, it is more closely associated with the architect. The house was occupied for many years by the Columbia Theological Seminary. Winthrop, the South Carolina College for Women, was founded in the house in 1886. It became the home of the Columbia Bible College from late 1920s to 1962. Built in 1823 in the center of an entire city block of four acres, the Classical Revival style brick mansion is two-storied on an elevated basement. The front fašade has an Ionic-temple portico with four massive columns rising from a raised brick arcade. The rear, or garden, entrance has a seven-bay arched porch. Three outbuildings have been reconstructed. Listed in the National Register July 16, 1970; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 7, 1973.

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