1100 Sumter Street
City Directories and History: Trinity Episcopal Church’s chief significance is architectural. It was designed ca. 1840 by Edward Brickell White, who also designed the steeple of St. Philip’s Church and Grace Church in Charleston. Modeled after Yorkminster Cathedral in England, the church is an example of English Gothic Revival style with a cruciform shape, two ornate front towers, arched oak doors, and four-
shouldered buttresses. It is one of the earliest examples of ecclesiastical Gothic architecture in the South. Most of its stained glass windows were imported from Munich ca. 1860 and its marble baptismal font was designed by Hiram Powers. Founded in 1812, the first frame church building was completed in 1814. The present building was begun in 1845 and finished in present form 1894. The towers and nave were constructed first, with the transepts added and chancel extended in 1861-1862 under White’s direction. The church escaped burning in 1865 by
General W. T. Sherman, who was a Roman Catholic, by the removal of its “Episcopal” signs, and the placing of papier-mâché crosses on the edges of its roof. Buried in its adjacent historic graveyard are five South Carolina governors, two Revolutionary War officers, three Confederate generals, the poet Henry Timrod, the three Wade Hampton’s, surveyor John Gabriel Guignard, and Dr. Thomas Cooper. Listed in the National Register February 24, 1971. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History] Access information on numerous Richland County and South Carolina churches, by clicking the highlighted S.C. Digital Library name.
Historic Trinity Episcopal, buff-plastered English Gothic Revival at the southeast corner of Sumter and Gervais Street, built in 1846 by a congregation founded in 1812; First Presbyterian, and first congregation organized in Columbia (1795), whose present building at the corner of Marion and Lady, dates from 1854, its 188-foot spire one of Columbia’s most distinguished architectural features; First Baptist, Greek Revival style built 1859 for a congregation organized in 1807, setting for the first southern state convention to declare a state’s separation from the United States;
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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IMAGE GALLERY via photographer Bill Segars – 2005
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