Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Neville Hall

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Institution Name: Presbyterian College
Original/Historic Place Name: Administration Building
Location on Campus: east end of West plaza
Date(s) of Construction:
1907original construction Wilson, Charles Coker
1965interior remodeled
Designer: Charles Coker Wilson (Columbia, SC)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: history, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: brick
ca. 1907Greek letter society
ca. 1907auditorium
ca. 1907administration
ca. 1907-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices

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.

Neville Hall is a three story Georgian revival building. A projecting central pavilion has an Ionic portico "in antis," with flanking paired Tuscan pilasters. The brick building is crowned with a central hemispherical dome. The interior was remodeled and the exterior was refurbished in 1965, with some additional interior work done in 1988. Originally called the Administration Building, it was later named Neville Hall after William G. Neville, who was president of the College when the building was built.

Presbyterian College is designed with two plazas, east and west. Neville Hall sits at the end of the original (west) plaza and serves as its focal point. It also serves as a point of division between the two plazas. It is emblematic of the college.


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