City Directories and History: (Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Southern Railway Station) Designed by Frank P. Milburn, a prominent Southeastern architect, the ca. 1902 Union Station is an excellent example of turn of the century eclectic architecture. Inspired by English Manor House designs of the sixteenth century, the stepped gables, the combination of brick and stone, and the towering chimneys place the building within the mainstream of Jacobethan Revival architecture in America. Milburn’s specialty was large public buildings. He also designed railway stations for New Orleans, Atlanta, Savannah and Knoxville. Milburn’s architectural credo was the progressive cry of his day – to erect “artistic as well as durable buildings.” He insisted upon using only materials of the highest quality and accepted only the finest workmanship. The attention given to decorative details in Union Station, such as the carved wooden brackets, the oriental inspired ironwork, and the acanthus capitals, displays Milburn’s emphasis on quality of design and materials. Without sacrificing design or proportion, Milburn created a functional structure for railroad travel at the beginning of the twentieth century. The building was open to the public on January 14, 1902. Listed in the National Register June 19, 1973.
(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
For instance, there were two buildings by prominent architect Frank P. Milburn, who came to Columbia at the turn of the century. (He was also designer of the State House dome, highly controversial since it departed so drastically from the Italianate Renaissance lower that the original architect, Niernsee, had planned.) Milburn’s Dispensary Building, a two-story brick structure in the early 20th century Classic Revival style, was historically significant as the office for the South Carolina liquor dispensary system, state control of alcoholic beverages which began in 1895 and lasted until 1907. And Union Station, a building distinguished for its quality of design and materials as well as for its functionalism as a modern station for the Atlantic Coast and Southern Railway System, was another Milburn building, completed in 1902.
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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