Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Furman University
Original/Historic Place Name: Furman University (new campus)
Location on Campus: 3300 Poinsett Hwy
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1950original construction Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, Kehoe & Dean
Designer: Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, Kehoe & Dean (now Perry Dean Rogers & Partners)
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular, Greek revival, Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival, Other, Italianate (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1950-present (2006)master plan (campus)

The Furman Academy and Theological Institution was founded in 1826 as a preparatory academy for Baptist ministers. The campus changed locations in the following years, and in 1850 the South Carolina Baptist Convention decided to move the struggling school to Greenville where it would become a liberal arts college and was renamed Furman University.

In 1854 the South Carolina Baptist Convention chartered the Greenville Baptist Female College. This school continued as an independent institution until the 1930s, when the Greenville Woman's College (as it was called at that time) merged with Furman University because of financial difficulties. In 1961 both schools were moved to the new campus of Furman University, and all distinctions between the two colleges ceased. Today, Furman continues to function as a liberal arts college, with approximately 2600 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 40 states and 15 countries.

Because the current campus is fairly new, most buildings are in good condition and are maintained quite well. The university strives to maintain these facilities and is currently renovating one its main academic buildings. The university is also currently in the process of renovating and doubling the size of the library and has several other construction and renovation projects in the works.

Although no longer here in name, the legacy of the Greenville Women's College is still present on campus, and there are remnants of the old Furman campus as well. There are gardens, the "shack," and several parlors and rooms that are reminiscent of the Woman's College; and the Bell Tower and the Old College are two of the most noticeable sites from Furman's old campus. Moreover, several places around campus utilize bricks, foundation stones, light fixtures, and entrance columns from the previous campuses of both Furman and the Greenville Woman's College.


Daniel, Robert Norman. Furman University: A History. Greenville, SC: Furman University, 1951.

Reid, Alfred Sandlin. Furman University. Toward a New Identity 1925-1975. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1976.


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Last update: November 2006