Why history matters

History connects and ground us

Preserving the past

At BullStreet, we’re committed to preserving South Carolina history. As the original site of the South Carolina State Hospital, it was opened in 1828 and over the last 200 years, its buildings in reflect the evolving scientific and medical philosophies in America.

One of the many things that makes The BullStreet District unique are the historic buildings on the property. Allowing new construction to be informed by the architecture that is already there.

In the spring of 2014, sixteen undergraduates and graduate students at the University of South Carolina came together to research and analyze the history of the built environment of the Bull Street campus of the South Carolina State Hospital.

Visit Digitizing Bull Street

“This is an integral part of Columbia’s story and it’s an integral part of our state’s story.” - John Sherrer, Historic Columbia

Learn about the life of these historic buildings and who’s there now

The Babcock Building

As one of two oldest structures at BullStreet, the circa-1858 Babcock Building is recognized for its architectural and historical value as a local landmark. Easily recognized by its signature red cupola from many points throughout Columbia, the Babcock Building was erected in 1858 and later enlarged several times.

The Bakery

The original bakery was erected between 1898 and 1904 and renovated in 2016. The Bakery features decorative brickwork and an interesting roofline incorporating cupolas for vents. This structure has a central arched doorway with sidelights and a transom with large windows.

Parker Annex

Newly renovated by Diversified Development in 2017, the Parker Annex was designed to complement the nearby Parker Building (erected 1898, demolished 1960s), which initially housed black male patients and later white males, following further segregation of patients in the early twentieth century.

The Central Energy Facility Building

The Central Energy Facility building played a crucial role during the decades when it was in use. In addition to underground piping, more than a mile of elevated trellis carried steam and cold water pipes from the Central Energy Facility to buildings across the 181-acre S.C. State Hospital site, providing heating and cooling to the entire campus.

Ensor Building

Adjacent to Spirit Communication Park is the Ensor Building. Though smaller in stature, the Ensor Building nonetheless evokes a sense of scale that is sympathetic to that of its sister buildings. Designed as a research laboratory, this structure is similar in style to academic and commercial buildings of the early twentieth century.