Historic Homes Research Project

In 2017 the Hollywood-Rose Hill Council applied for and received a grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission to research and document historic homes (older than 50 years) in the neighborhood.  Eighty four (84) homes participated in the project completed in mid-2018. As the research summary that follows will point out, the participating homes represented a mix of architect designed, kit homes and builder-constructed houses. In undertaking this project we identified several sources of house plans and other information relevant to the project. Those are:

A color brochure was created as a part of this grant to serve as a street-based Walking Tour of participating homes.  Download a PDF copy of the brochure here.


Click on the street of interest, then the house number. This will display all the documents created as part of the research for this home's plaque.

The following is a general summary of our research, compiled by Dr. Chuck Lesser.

An Overview of the History of Development in Hollywood-Rose Hill

The Rose Hill and Hollywood developments were the first suburbs south of Lower Street (now Heyward Street), the original 1786 lower boundary of the city of Columbia.  Rose Hill, whose initial development began in 1914, was followed by Hollywood a decade later in 1924.  A street car line added in 1915 that ran down the center of Saluda Avenue to Lower Street promoted this new growth.  Despite initial appeals to different markets, the two developments came to have much in common long before they formed a single neighborhood association in 1981.  All but three of the historic houses documented in this booklet were built in the 1920s and 1930s.  A generous grant awarded to the Hollywood-Rose Hill Neighborhood Association by the Richland County Conservation Commission funded the research for and placement of bronze plaques on 84 homes in the neighborhood.  The documented construction dates, architects, and builders on the plaques reveal commonalities as well as differences in what is now considered a single community.  This pamphlet provides the texts of all the plaques and serves as a self-guided walking tour to these historic homes.

Much of the land on which these two suburbs were built had long been owned by Abram Stork, whose house on Lower (Heyward) Street was demolished for the construction of William and Mary Court.  By 1902, Stork built the Rose Hill Greenhouses as part of his extensive horticultural business; these grounds are where the South Saluda Apartments and Hollywood Park now stand.  Sometimes promoted as a bungalow community, Rose Hill initially aimed at a middle-class audience and was incorporated into the city in 1926.  In addition to bungalows, Rose Hill also boasts kit houses that were shipped from the Aladdin factory in Wilmington, North Carolina.  This project has marked six of these houses: 219, 235, and 243 South Edisto and 200, 206, and 218 South Saluda. 

Both houses built in 1919 marked by this project are in Rose Hill.  Duncan Clinch Heyward, who had been the last of the great rice planters and was governor of South Carolina from 1903 to 1907, lived in a bungalow constructed in 1919 after he became a businessman and moved to Columbia.  Heyward lived at 101 South Edisto from 1927-1933 and thus was a resident when Lower Street, the other street that forms that corner lot, was renamed in his honor in 1931. 

The other 1919 house, 127 South Edisto, is one of two in Rose Hill that were built by contractors as their own residences.  Luther Bagnal built 127 South Edisto in 1919; several Bagnal-Nettles incorporations (including the Ideal Home Co.) built a number of homes in both Rose Hill and Hollywood.  J. T. Dabbs, another prominent contractor, built 301 South Saluda in 1921.  Larger than their neighbors, these two contractor-built houses also had special features.  301 South Saluda, on a double lot, has pocket doors between several of its rooms.  The one home documented by this project that postdates the 1930s, 303 South Saluda, was built as a duplex in 1940 but has been converted to a single-family residence.

South Gregg Street is the dividing line between the Rose Hill and Hollywood developments, with Rose Hill to the east and Hollywood to the west.  The streets and houses in the two neighborhoods also face different directions.  The streets in Hollywood, which were paved with concrete in 1924 by the United Development Company, run east-west (except for Southwood) and the houses face north and south.  The streets in Rose Hill were not initially paved and most run north-south with the houses facing east and west.

It was the roaring 1920’s and the Hollywood neighborhood’s streets and name reflected it’s upscale development.  In March 1925, the Holly Realty Company marked the first anniversary of Hollywood by boasting of 16 architect-designed homes completed or under construction.  The company also advertised one of their homes (1728 Hollywood) as “Castle Charming.”  This project has documented nine homes by the Columbia architect J. Carroll Johnson, including his own home at 102 Southwood.  The Johnson family lived only briefly at the home, before moving to Gibbes Court in 1929.  Johnson declared bankruptcy in 1930.  The other homes by J. Carroll Johnson marked by this project are 1625, 1632, 1707, 1722, 1727 Hollywood; 211 Southwood; and 103, 224 South Gregg.  The project also documented one house by the Columbia architectural firm Lafaye and Lafaye, which was completed in 1925 (1706 Hollywood). 

The economic difficulties of the Great Depression came early to South Carolina and doubtless were a factor in scaled back ambitions for the completion of Hollywood.  Larger lots and homes still filled two more southern streets in the development (Crestwood and Maplewood) beyond the initial Hollywood Drive, but none of the homes documented by the project on those streets are unique architect designs.  Plans ordered from published pattern books are doubtless the origin of numerous homes in both developments but have been difficult to establish during this project.  One exception is the large home at 1717 Crestwood, which was built in 1928 using plan No. 51 in Georgia architect Leila Ross Wilburn’s pattern book “Homes in Good Taste.”  Hollywood was incorporated into the City in 1927.

By 1927-1928, the southern end of Hollywood on Pinewood Drive and Fulton Street was being developed with bungalows by the Bagnal-Nettles Lumber Co. and its successor the Ideal Home Company.   Smaller homes also marked the area of the neighborhood to the west between Pickens Street and the University of South Carolina athletic fields.