355 Cedar Springs Road
City Directories and History: Walker Hall, built ca. 1857-59, is an example of Greek Revival and Italian Villa architecture situated on the 147-acre campus of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. It stands as a monument to the Walker family, who for 127 years have been involved in the education deaf and blind children in South Carolina. The school was founded in 1849 as a private endeavor by Reverend Newton Pinckney Walker, a young Baptist minister who had become
interested in the work for the deaf because his wife had three deaf relatives. In 1885 a Department for the blind was added, the same year in which Walker petitioned the legislature to take over the school as a state supported institution, which it did in 1856. In 1857, the well-known Charleston architect Edward C. Jones was commissioned to design a new building. A contract was drawn with Owen, Allen & Brothers to build the center edifice and the east wing, which were completed in 1859. The original building was constructed of brick and the dome originally was surmounted by a Mansard roof, replaced by a flat roof in the late 1880s. In 1884, a contract was made with the Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan to design the west wing that was completed in 1885. Its design is identical to the east wing, giving the structure a symmetrical appearance. The front façade features a pedimented portico supported by Corinthian columns on an arcaded base. A rear annex, also in conformity to the original structure, was constructed in 1921 by Pittman Construction Company of Atlanta. Listed in the National Register December 6, 1977.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
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“The Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution, located four miles south of the city at Cedar Springs, was founded many years ago by the father of the present superintendent. Originally a private facility, it now has been taken over by the State, which annually appropriates about $12,000 for its support. At present there are seventy-four deaf mutes and thirty blind in the institution. Besides the white department, there is a colored department into which colored people are admitted under certain conditions. The present superintendent, N.F. Walker, is assisted by a staff of sixteen.”
Reprinted from South Carolina in the 1880s: A Gazetteer by J.H. Moore, Sandlapper Publishing Company – 1989