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

Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building, Richland County (617 Devine St., Columbia)
S1081774007401 S1081774007402 S1081774007403 S1081774007404 S1081774007405
North Elevation East Elevation Northwest
West Elevation Bay Door
West Elevation
Window Detail
West Elevation

The Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company Building is significant for its role in the growth of the textile industry in Columbia and the state. The vast industrial complex was built to facilitate the short-term storage of cotton bales in transit to textile mills. The complex also provided for the mechanical compression of these same bales to expedite their storage and transportation. It is one of only four surviving cotton compress facilities in the Southeast and one of the largest cotton warehouses in the state. The building is also significant as an excellent example of warehouse design and construction from the early twentieth century. Six major textile mills were built in Columbia between 1890 and 1905. The rapidly expanding industry demanded development of related industries and services, including railroads and warehouses. The growing demands of the industry prompted the organization of the Palmetto Compress and Warehouse Company about 1912. The company’s shipping, receiving, and compressing shed appears to have been built at this time. In 1917, the company undertook the first section of the brick warehouse. Columbia architect James B. Urquhart provided plans for the 208 by 208 foot building. The warehouse has substantial brick exterior walls and fire walls defining four compartments on each of the four floors. Each compartment has an arched cargo door on the west elevation, with small, paired windows to either side. The northern section of the brick warehouse, which doubled the building’s storage capacity, was built in 1923. By 1936, the company boasted a top capacity of 60,000 bales of cotton. Listed in the National Register October 17, 1985.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Columbia includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

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