City Directories and History: The O’Donnell House is significant as an outstanding example of the Neo-Classical style designed by a nationally known architect, Frank Pierce Milburn. Although the frame house was built ca. 1840 in the Italianate style, its was remodeled in the Neo-Classical style by Milburn in 1905. The five-ranked, three-story façade is dominated by an imposing, semi-circular, full height porch, supported by four Corinthian columns, which is topped by a substantial cornice ornamented with dentils and a parapet of square
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posts and a turned balustrade. Milburn added a gable-end roof, which created a third story, with elaborately detailed cornices and Palladian windows in each gable end. The house had descended through the Haynsworth, DeLorme, Bogin, and O’Donnell families of Sumter. Neill O’Donnell hired Milburn to transform his house into a Neo-Classical showcase. O’Donnell was a successful Sumter businessman and banker during a period of rapid growth and prosperity in Sumter from the 1870s through the turn of the century. His home was a reflection of his status in the business and social circles of Sumter. The O’Donnell House is one of the few remaining examples of this style of architecture in Sumter, and is an important example of Milburn’s work as a nationally known architect. Listed in the National Register April 25, 1996. [Courtesy of the S.C. Dept. of Archives and History]
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