Landmark Building at South Carolina State Gets a Second Life

Lowman Hall, on the campus of South Carolina State University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, was constructed in 1917 as a male dormitory. Built by South Carolina State students, who in the Jim Crow era were primarily instructed in the industrial trades, the rather staid brick exterior was enhanced by an elegant interior with ornate woodworking and wainscoting. Upon its completion Lowman Hall became the residence of choice for men on the South Carolina State campus.

In 1985 Lowman Hall was added to the National Register of Historical Places. But after years of deferred maintenance and neglect due to budgetary concerns, the university was forced to close the building. It has remained closed ever since.

But Lowman Hall is currently undergoing a major $7 million renovation. Because of its historical status, renovations are under the supervision of the National Park Service. All of the original woodwork must be maintained. Each window will be taken out, refurbished, and replaced in its original location.

When the building reopens in September 2009, it will house the offices of the university administration.