Clemson Holtzendorff Hall restoration project wins S.C. historic preservation award

The interior of Clemson University’s Holtzendorff Hall, June 26, 2017. (Photo by Ken Scar)

COLUMBIA — Clemson University’s Holtzendorff Hall received a 2017 South Carolina Historic Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of the Italian Renaissance-style building designed by professor Rudolf Lee.

The awards were presented at the State House by Gov. Henry McMaster and were sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the South Carolina Archives and History Foundation, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation.

Constructed in 1915 to serve as the YMCA for Clemson Military College, the building was repurposed over the years for classrooms and offices. In 2015, archival research and paint analysis were compiled into a rehabilitation plan for the building. Completed in 2016, the project led by Clemson University Historic Properties, 1st Class Construction and Preservation South, returned the auditorium to a vibrant space used Monday through Friday.

“Through historic preservation, Clemson University was able to recapture the detail and elegance of perhaps the premier design of noted campus architect and planner Rudolph Lee,” said Will Hiott, Clemson’s director of historic properties. “This Bowman Field landmark was a model for his later designs with Riggs, Long, Sirrine and Fike and has been replicated in newer campus buildings. Project Manager Rick Owens assembled a restoration team who took genuine interest in the public space which has been a model for subsequent projects, such as the Barnes Center renovation.”

The positive response of students, faculty and alumni has inspired the administration to plan more rehabilitation projects on other notable campus buildings.

The South Carolina Historic Preservation awards recognize the exceptional accomplishments of preservation, rehabilitation and interpretation of the Palmetto State’s architectural and cultural heritage.