C.F. Haynsworth Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Greenville, SC

The Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr. Federal Building in Greenville, SC is of simple Greek Revival style. The main entry to the building is on the north elevation. In the center of the north elevation is a projecting central temple front with a classical pediment supported by six square Tuscan columns. The portico formed by these columns has a quarry tile floor with wrought iron balcony rail at the 2nd floor level. The three main entry doors are at the first floor level in this bay. The entry doors are surrounded by verde marble. The original wood entry doors have been replaced by decorative metal ones but the original bronze transoms over each door remain in place. The original bronze wall mounted sconces still flank the main entries. The sconces have an octagonal frame with grille work over opaque glass. Atop the sconce is a winged upright eagle sitting on a sphere mounted on a fretwork pedestal. Underneath each sconce are bronze letters. On the east side the letters read "UNITED STATES COURT HOUSE"; on the west, "UNITED STATES POST OFFICE". Above the main entry are bronze letters reading "CLEMENT F. HAYNSWORTH, JR. FEDERAL BUILDING".

At the south elevation the interior plan of the building becomes apparent. A light court is formed by the projecting east and west wings. In the center of the light court is a central projecting pavilion topped by a simple Classical pediment. The loading dock originally opened off the 1st floor level. Currently the 1st floor loading dock is filled-in with limestone and the basement level opens to a parking lot. It is unclear when these changes were made.

The east and west elevations are simply finished but repeat the details of the other elevations. There are simple limestone bands at the second floor and cornice levels on all elevations. Each bank of windows is slightly recessed into the limestone. A simple panelled limestone spandrel panel with center block decorates each elevation between the 2nd and 3rd floor level windows.

First floor windows are 10/15 double hung wood windows. The 2nd and 3rd floor level windows are 10/10 double hung wood windows. All 2nd floor windows have been replaced with new wood Marvin windows. The windows are identical in outward appearance to the original wood ones.

The interior of the Haynsworth Federal Building has been changed considerably over the years. The main lobby was severely cut down in space by the addition of a wall running the length of the east-west corridor. The original bronze entry vestibule was removed and the current entry is blocked-off by the U.S. Marshal's security desk. The main staircases at the northeast and northwest maintain their original appearance though a new fire wall at each end of the lobby conceals them from view. The originally finished elevators at each floor with their bronze doors and marble surrounds enhance the appearance of the interior. Offices on the 1st and 2nd floor have been renovated several times over the years, though a small amount of original wood trim remains. At the time of inspection, all the 3rd floor offices were being renovated.

The original courtroom on the 3rd floor retains much of its original appearance.

The C. F. Haynsworth Federal Building/Courthouse is significant because of its representation of a specific period of Federal architecture and because it is a symbol of the Federal presence in Greenville.

The passage of the Public Buildings Act of 1926 precipitated a period of building construction that was unprecedented in the United States. The Public Buildings Act specified that the office of the Supervising Architect of the the Department of the Treasury would be responsible for the design and construction of all public buildings. The C.F. Haynsworth Federal Building and Courthouse was constructed during this period, in 1937.

The office of the Supervising Architect of the Department of the Treasury designed the Federal buildings of the early 1930s. Occassionally a private architectural firm was hired to design a public building. Perhaps due to the failure of over half of the nation's architectural firms in the Depression, the design of public buildings by local firms was encouraged by the mid-1930s. The Federal Building in Greenville was designed by Eric Kebbon and completed in 1937. Many of the Federal buildings of this period exhibit streamlined, almost austere, finishes and features; therefore, it is generally believed that Louis Simon, Supervising Architect of the Treasury, exerted a great deal of control over the design.

The building was constructed as a Post Office, Courthouse and Federal office building. When the Post Office moved out, many of the spaces, especially on the 1st floor and lobby area, were significantly modified.

Though not listed, the C.F. Haynsworth Federal Building was considered as eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office on October 18, 1977.

Year
Start
Year
End
Description Architect
1937 Original Construction Kebbon, Eric
1983 New elevators added Unknown
1990 Sprinkler system added Unknown
1991 New slate roof added Unknown
1992 Alteration of 3rd floor east wing offices Unknown
1992 Alteration of 3rd floor west wing for offices Unknown
1992 Asbestos removal from 3rd floor courtroom Unknown
1993 2nd floor renovation work-Judge Wilkins' chambers Unknown
Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13