Library Exhibit- Foundations for the Future: Campus Buildings- 1895-1980

Winthrop's Campus- ca1920

Winthrop’s first year, 1886-1887, was spent at a renovated stable, a small brick building which at one time had been the chapel of the Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC. It was later moved to Rock Hill, SC and rebuilt brick-by-brick on Winthrop’s back campus in 1936. By Winthrop’s second session, 1887-1888, President and Founder David Bancroft Johnson managed to obtain a small two-story frame building which was located on Marion Street in Columbia. For eight years, the school conducted its business in this building until it became obvious that Winthrop was outgrowing its facilities. In 1893, after receiving bids from Spartanburg, Chester, Rock Hill, and Anderson, the Winthrop Board of Trustees reached its decision and Rock Hill became the new home of Winthrop College. The first building constructed on the new campus of the South Carolina Industrial and Winthrop Normal College in Rock Hill was Main Building, now known as Tillman Hall. It was completed in 1895 and has served ever since as the focal point of the college’s campus. Following the completion of Tillman Hall, Winthrop experienced a tremendous expansion and building program which continues today.

The September library exhibit pays homage to the growth of Winthrop’s campus by displaying historic photographs and memorabilia of the many buildings that comprise Winthrop’s campus. The exhibit will run from September 3 through October 4. For more information on the exhibit or the history of Winthrop Campus Buildings, please contact the Archives at (803) 323-2334 or e-mail

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