Peak of Osborne

Evolution of a Campus

Expansion and Demolition from
1801 to 2008

Presented by the University of South Carolina Archives

Introduction | Original Campus | What if... | Demolition,1939-1969 | Demolition, 1970-2008 | Uncertain Futures | Renovation | Credits

What If...

The University of South Carolina has entertained many proposals to dramatically change the physical plant over the past two centuries. Indeed, had some of the following changes been adopted, the University's campus would look very different.

Proposed Terraces circa 1840

The University of South Carolina could have had a very different look had some landscaping and building design proposals been accepted. This plan, circa 1840, proposed installing terraces on the Horseshoe.

Swearingen Engineering Center Model

Proposed Landscape Plan 1927

This 1927 landscape plan would have given the Horseshoe a different look had it been implemented, with a plaza and reflecting pool on the current site of McKissick Museum. Additional tennis courts and academic buildings were proposed for the site Wardlaw College currently occupies, and the women's quad would have had a different formation.

Proposed 1927 Landscape

Carolina Coliseum

Original design proposed for the Carolina Coliseum and the completed building.

Proposed Coliseum Model

Russell House and Callcott College

In the 1950s the University shifted to modern architectural designs, with the construction of the Russell House and Callcott College. The Board of Trustees was divided over whether to adopt the modern style, and chastised by an architectural consultant for not moving with the times. The original 1953 design proposals for Russell House and Callcott College, which is home to the School of Business, exhibit marked contrasts to what was actually built. After several decades of concrete and glass, the University has moved back to a more traditional architectural style, as seen in the new Arnold School of Public Health building.

Russell House Callcott College

Russell House

Callcott College

Proposed Library Expansion

In 1969 the University desperately needed additional library space. It was proposed that a massive addition be constructed behind McKissick Library, which was then served as the graduate library. Instead, a large, partially underground addition was connected to the rear of the undergraduate library. Its completion in 1976 made it the University's main library building (Thomas Cooper Library); McKissick Library was converted into a museum.

Proposed Aerial Plan of McKissick Library ExpansionMcKissick Library Proposed ExpansionThomas Cooper Library Expansion Excavation

Proposed Arts Complex

This proposal for an arts complex was killed by financial troubles during the recession in the 1970s. The block with the auditorium and theatre is now the location of the National Advocacy Center.

Proposed Arts Complex Plans

Swearingen Engineering Center

The original design proposal for Swearingen Engineering Center differs dramatically from the final design.

Swearingen Engineering Center Drawing Swearingen Engineering Center Architect's Model

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