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SC Governor’s Mansion — Columbia, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Richland County  |  SC Governor’s Mansion

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SC Governor’s Mansion

The Governor’s Mansion in Columbia is all that remains of the Arsenal Military Academy, once located in the capital city. In 1842 Governor John P. Richardson proposed converting the state’s arsenals in Charleston and in Columbia into military academies to train officers for South Carolina’s militia. On December 20, 1842, the state legislature officially created The Citadel and Arsenal Military Academy. This structure was built in 1855 as an officers’ barracks for the latter.

South Carolina Governors' Mansion

Michael K. Jones of Lexington, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Cadets withdrew from the Academy to fight in the Civil War in 1865. When they returned to Columbia, they found their campus in ruins, having been burned by Sherman’s army. However, the stately officers’ barracks remained intact. The barracks was converted into the Governor’s Mansion in 1868, and its first occupant was Governor Robert Scott in 1869.

Governors Mansion Columbia

Andy Hunter of North Augusta, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Since then, the Mansion has had many famous guests such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Martha Raye, Minnie Pearl, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Governon's Mansion

Wilson Jumper of West Columbia © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Though the mansion is the private residence of the governor’s family, some rooms are open to the public for tours. These rooms showcase historical artifacts, furnishings, paintings, and documents pertinent to the Palmetto State.

State Dining Room

Parker Renaud of West Columbia, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Governor’s Mansion Commission is a non-profit organization that sees to the mansion’s historical collections as well as any alteration or renovation of the home. Furnishings and other acquisitions important to the state’s history continue to be collected and added to the Governor’s Mansion.

Governor's Mansion Library

Parker Renaud of West Columbia, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The public is invited to tour the mansion. Tours are conducted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and must be scheduled in advance. The website below should guide those interested in making a reservation.

State Drawing Room

Parker Renaud of West Columbia, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Governor’s Mansion is located in the Columbia’s historic Arsenal Hill district, which is listed in the National Register:

The area of the Columbia Historic District I was established as a result of Columbia’s development into a center of government and trade between the upper and lower parts of the state. Also known as Arsenal Hill, the area was a complex of fine mansions and attractive homes built before the Civil War. The district is politically significant as a center of state and nationally related affairs with the Governor’s Mansion as the focal point.

It is architecturally significant for the variety of architectural styles indicative or unique to the area such as Greek Revival, Italianate, Classical Revival, and the “Columbia Cottage.” Noteworthy landscape architecture in the district includes the Caldwell-Hampton-Boylston House gardens, a significant example of evolving garden planning from the time the house was built ca. 1830 through its development formally in the 1890s to the present. Arsenal Hill has retained stately tree-lined streets and a number of its original homes.

Historic Photos – Governor’s Mansion

Governor's Mansion

Governor's Mansion 1939

South Caroliniana Library, Photographs WPA-PL-C-H (1-24), 1939

Governor's Mansion

South Caroliniana Library, Joseph E. Winter, 1967

SC Governor’s Mansion Info

Address: 800 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201
GPS Coordinates: 34.008785,-81.043463
Website: http://www.scgovernorsmansion.org/

SC Governor’s Mansion Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

6 Comments about SC Governor’s Mansion

Margaret Ammons says:
July 13th, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Back in the eighties, South Carolina Girl Scouts who earned the Gold Award, were invited to celebrate with their parents and Scout leaders at the Governor’s Mansion. Is that an ongoing custom?

SC Picture Project says:
July 13th, 2019 at 10:04 pm

Great catch, thank you for letting us know! We did do a search and corrected all of the improper listings, we appreciate your help.

Margaret Ammons says:
July 13th, 2019 at 6:26 pm

For photographs of the Governor’s Mansion on this page, some credits should read South Caroliniana Library, not Caroliana. I find this a challenging word to spell; I’m sure you’d like to correct it. Is it possible to search and correct the word across the whole web site? Love the photos and information!

SCIWAY says:
December 15th, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Hi, Katie. Go to the link above the map and hopefully that can hemp guide you. Good luck!

Katie Renner Sudduth says:
December 15th, 2016 at 11:17 am

How do I go about talking to someone about bringing a Senior Church group for a tour?

hailey adkins says:
December 8th, 2010 at 10:56 am

I love this house and I’m in love with the fountain! I would love to have that house!


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