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

Allen University Historic District, Richland County (1530 Harden St., Columbia)
S1081774003001 S1081774003002 S1081774003003 S1081774003004 S1081774003005
Arnette Hall
Arnett Hall
Rear Elevation
Joseph Simmon
Flipper Library
Canteen Building Chappelle
Coppin Hall

Among the many private schools and universities for African Americans founded during the post-bellum period, Allen University was probably the first founded and operated by African Americans in South Carolina. Established by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Allen University was influenced by the denomination’s emphasis on education and a trained clergy. Named for Richard Allen, founder of the A.M.E. Church, Allen University was one of several universities established by the A.M.E. Church in the South following the Civil War. Begun four years after the University of South Carolina was closed to African Americans, Allen helped fill the pressing need for African American education in South Carolina. The university purchased its first property in Columbia in 1881. The first major building was erected and in use on the present site in 1888. The campus historic district contains four major buildings, ranging in date from 1891 to 1941, situated around a campus green. The architecture is typical of many university buildings around the country, characterized by red brick construction, white columns, and classical symmetry and detailing. Listed in the National Register April 14, 1975

View a map showing the boundaries of the Allen University Historic District.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.

Most National Register properties are privately owned and are not open to the public. The privacy of owners should be respected. Not all properties retain the same integrity as when originally documented and listed in the National Register due to changes and modifications over time.

Images and texts on these pages are intended for research or educational use. Please read our statement on use and reproduction for further information on how to obtain a photocopy or how to cite an item.

Images provided by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.