J. Bratton Davis U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse, Columbia, SC
Location: 1100 Laurel St, Columbia, SC 29201
The building's primary significance lies in its architecture rather than its history. Of particular note is the use of poured monolithic concrete as a building material. The use of poured monolithic concrete is common for plain, linear types of buildings (such as warehouses), however it was (and is) unusual for a structure of complex style and detailing to be constructed in this manner.
In the summer of 1932, the Postmaster General and Secretary of the Treasury authorized $550,000 (later reduced to $500,000) for the construction of a new courthouse and office building in Columbia, South Carolina. This structure was intended to replace the older Federal Building which had been built in 1875 at 1737 Main Street. The mayor of Columbia began investigating the possible purchase by the city of the old Federal property. The city arranged to exchange the property it owned at the southeast corner of Laurel and Assembly Streets for the Federal Building on Main. The original Federal Building still stands on Main Street as the Columbia City Hall.
The U.S. Courthouse was designed by Harold Tatum in 1935. Tatum was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was one of the few university-trained architects in Columbia. Archibald Brown (possibly representing the Federal Government) was Construction Engineer and James Barnes of Springfield, Ohio was awarded the contract to construct the building.
The building was constructed in 1936. Original electric work was done by Miller Electrical Company of Columbia and Jacksonville, Florida. The concrete work was done by Concrete Construction and Supply Company of Columbia. The original construction photos (which can be found in the building manager's office) were done by Sargeant Studios of Columbia.
The building was dedicated on January 18, 1937 and originally housed the U.S. District Court, the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department and the District Attorney's Office.
- Architect: Tatum, Harold
- Construction Date: 1936
- GSA Building Number: SC0018ZZ
- National Register of Historic Places Landmark Status: National Register Listed