Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Jacobs Hall

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Institution Name: Presbyterian College
Original/Historic Place Name: Jacobs Hall
Location on Campus: West Plaza
Date(s) of Construction:
1915original construction
1987extensive renovation
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: brick
ca. 1915-1987library
ca. 1915-1987gymnasium
ca. 1915-1987academic department building (science)
ca. 1987-present (2006)academic department building (business, economics, military science)

Jacobs Hall is a two story Georgian revival structure, of brick and limestone construction. Built in 1915, it was named for the founder of Presbyterian College, William Plumer Jacobs. A colossal Ionic portico with paired columns centers the facade. The first floor windows have segmental brick arches with projecting keystones, and a full Ionic entablature with a brick frieze is carried around the building. The exterior remains the same as the original; extensive renovation was done in 1987.

Presbyterian College is unified around a central mall, in accordance with the campus plan drawn in 1912 by New York City landscape engineer Charles W. Leavitt, Jr. This plan has governed development of the college, thus rendering the newer, non-historic buildings on campus more compatible with the old.

As mentioned above, the college, as well as the Thornwell Home and School for Children, was founded by Dr. Jacobs. Jacobs first came to Clinton at the age of 24 as minister to the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton. Under his guidance Clinton became the center of South Carolina Presbyterianism and as such was the natural choice for the orphanage which had long been Jacob's dream. Five years after the founding of the Orphanage, Jacobs founded Clinton College with the support of local Presbyterians. From the beginning, in accordance with one of Jacob's most ardent wishes, young women could enter any classes on equal footing with men and earn an A.M., or Mistress of Arts degree. In 1890 the name of the college was officially changed to Presbyterian College and control was extended to the South Carolina Synod.


Hammet, Ben Hay. The Spirit of Presbyterian College: A Centennial History. Clinton, SC: Presbyterian College, 1982.

South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.


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Last update: November 2006