SC Statehouse

SC Statehouse

1100 Gervais Street
Columbia SC 29208

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  • Aug 09, 2021 by Tyson Smurov

    Very beautiful and majestic building! The place itself charges some kind of mystical energy. Huge columns seem to rise into the sky. The whole family has specially come here to admire this beauty! There is where to sit and relax. Be sure to visit this capitol!

  • Jul 15, 2021 by Suryanarayanan Ranganathan

    Great place to visit. The complimentary tour was really informative. It’s a must watch for everyone in SC.

  • Jul 08, 2021 by Deborahsharon Smith

    Beautiful grounds, safe secure area thanks to the fine ladies and gentlemen of our State Capital Police.

  • Jun 25, 2021 by Jearline Berry

    My first visit was with my 2 nieces and nephew, had lots of fun ☺.

  • Jun 01, 2021 by Rachael K. Taylor

    We had so much fun for memorial weekend
    We had the opportunity to visit the South Carolina State House in honor of our combatant soldiers, who died defending the

  • May 30, 2021 by Sarah Hartman

    Absolutely gorgeous state capitol in Columbia South Carolina. The grounds and building are well kept up, the staff were friendly, and most of the capitol was open to walk through. The architecture is stunningly beautiful.

  • May 22, 2021 by Sara Beth Wade

    What a beautiful building! I stumbled into a guided tour on a Saturday after visiting the Soda City Market, so it was total luck, but you can walk around anytime, I think, as long as you go through the metal detector at the door. Enter the building through the side entrance, a floor beneath where the grand stairs lead you to (So- don't go up those stairs to get in.) Lots of garden and sculptures around the outside, particularly the tribute to African-Americans on the left side.

  • May 22, 2021 by Kyle Hartmann

    The South Carolina State House had some of nicest kept grounds in Columbia, with wonderfully large oak trees, beautiful flowers, iconic palmettos, and many historic and elegant sculptures, statues, and monuments. I was not familiar with most of the figures there since I’m not from South Carolina, but since I love history, I researched them after visiting. I would recommend doing so beforehand for maximum effect. Thankfully, despite our current circumstances, they still allow entry into the building, but the day I visited, both chambers were shut which was rather disappointing as I was hoping to see the sceptre and sabre. The inside has several figures inside like John C. Calhoun (an identical statue in marble resides in the Crypt at the US Capitol) and a bust of General Robert E. Lee. There are several nice murals and stained glass windows, and the touching story of the Angel of Marye’s Heights on the lower level is a nice spot. There is also a very nice gift shop in the State House where I was able to find SC-grown tea, mugs, flags, postcards, and many other neat SC-centred products. The shop attendant was very nice as well. The outside grounds have many statues as mentioned including Gen. Wade Hampton (erected shortly after his death), George Washington (with a broken cane from Sherman’s men) which predated the War Between the States, Sen. Strum Thurmond, a newer monument to black South Carolinians (including a model sculpture slave ship and effigy on the wall), a Mexican-American War memorial which predates the War Between the States as well, and the memorial to South Carolina’s Confederate soldiers (an inscription on it really made me think, unexpectedly so). There really are so many things to see on the Capitol Grounds, you should allot yourself about two-three hours total. The day I visited, there were dog walkers everywhere in some sort of group which I wasn’t exactly fond of, but there is always something going on. Very much worth a visit, cheers.

  • May 19, 2021 by Steven Scalici

    I’ve never been to the state capital on Main Street, but from this picture of that street at Christmas time, I’d live to take a slow walk up it from this point.

  • Mar 06, 2021 by Bruce K.

    Under construction when General Sherman occupied the city of Columbia on February 17 1865, the building was damaged by Union artillery fire and was also set afire by the troops. Reconstruction began after the way and the structure was finally completed in 1875 and the exterior in 1907. There were two major renovations in 1959 and 1998 which leads to the current structure that you see in downtown Columbia. Located where Main Street meets Gervais Street (named for the state senator who introduced the bill to bring the state capitol to Columbia from Charleston). The grounds of the property are surrounded by monuments including a Confederate memorial and others dedicated to George Washington and South Carolina politicians including Strom Thurmond and James Byrnes. I'm glad that I have now had a chance to walk the grounds of the Palmetto State in daytime. This was my first state capitol in my quest to visit all the state capitols in the USA and I'm now up to 38. There were two capitol police cars parked and watching to make sure everything was orderly. Unfortunately, the building was closed to the public because of the pandemic. [Review 14756 overall, 257 of 2021, number 794 in South Carolina.] Driving by to get to a restaurant, my eye was drawn to the majestic white crown of the South Carolina State Capitol. Here is where important laws are made, where deals are hammered out and where money changes hands as politicians are bribed. I'm kidding about that last part - the money goes to a Swiss account. At night, this is a whole different den of thieves. Walking from my parked car to get a good picture of the Capitol, I kept my eye on my surroundings (lots of dark bushes and architectural black holes). I still managed to be approached by two different beggars, one of whom asked if he could hold a dollar. Uh, no. I did not see a single police officer. I also didn't see a meter maid, but since I didn't pay the meter, this was not a bad thing. I checked in on *cough* foursquare *cough* and it reminded me that this was my first State Capitol since visiting Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh over two years ago. What a difference!

  • Mar 06, 2021 by Fox E.

    If you love doing make up on the fly, you should always Carry Liner. These are the Carry Liner state houses, in honour of doing make up on the fly and those who carry liner for such reasons. The state houses and state government buildings in Columbia South Carolina are both beautiful and understated, not to mention underappreciated. Some states make a huge big deal about their government buildings and make them overly grand and spacious, often obnoxious, but these ones are a little bit more reminiscent of the rustic charm that really appeals to me, and is a big part of what makes the Carolinas and the South beautiful. It blends into this gorgeous city of Columbia South Carolina without completely taking it over. These are definitely some of my favourite government buildings in the country, and they've been very well done and extremely well maintained, because despite how old they are, they actually look like they were just built yesterday in some cases.

  • Jan 06, 2021 by Joshua Shan

    It is our first time having a visit to Columbia. The state house is magnificent. It was absolutely worth a visit.

  • Jan 02, 2021 by D lopez

    Very nice place, the park around the house is beautiful, love the architecture

  • Dec 28, 2020 by William Leland III

    Very beautifully maintained grounds. Definitely worth a visit.

  • Nov 27, 2020 by Wisco Simple

    Very nice Capitol building with exceptionally well maintained grounds

  • Oct 16, 2020 by Lisa Yoder

    A very scenic and educational way to spend an hour or two in Columbia, SC

  • Sep 27, 2020 by Woody Weaver

    It's an interesting building. But I'm a little confused. There's at least one statue that honors some long ago defeated country that didn't really take. That's a little weird. That's how come it's only four stars. Also...Justice for Josh. He lost more than stars.

  • Aug 06, 2020 by Terry Bernard

    The lady working the tour desk was super nice. I could tell she missed giving tours. Beautiful capital building. Even during this coronavirus they allow you to roam the building and grounds. Just no tour. Must see!!!

  • Aug 03, 2020 by Leela Ann

    I love to feed squirrels here!

  • Dec 26, 2019 by ByAsa Photography

    A great spot to stop for wedding day portraits! There is something very familiar about the architecture. Made me feel like I was back in DC.

  • Nov 20, 2019 by Adam Tomlinson

    Beautiful place to tour when you have some free time. Be sure to catch a free guided tour which they offer multiple times almost daily.

  • Nov 18, 2019 by george karampoulis

    As a Greek, I am very proud to see other civilizations honoring my roots. One look and you will definitely recognize the Greek roots of this building.

    Beautiful at day and night!

  • Oct 24, 2019 by Cchaddie Fairchilds

    I enjoy early morning coffee and breakfast there ( they open at 6:30!) but the happy hour menu is also delicious. You can lounge on a sofa and have great snacks such as Korean sliders, truffle fries, etc.they offer free night or pay what you can (donation) for admission. I went at this time and think this is a wonderful thing to do. Hopefully more people will be able to have access and learn about art history. Otherwise, it is $25 for an adult.

  • Sep 26, 2019 by Nick Doriot

    Cool place to visit and lots of history to explore. You can walk through the state house yourself or take a guided tour if you like. There are also lots of monuments and art to explore around the statehouse grounds. It's a great place to take older children to give them some historical perspective about our state.

  • Aug 31, 2019 by Kerry K.

    Great point of interest to visit when you're in the city. Although not as elaborate as many state capitols I've seen, the tour was very comprehensive and educational. A short film was shown to fill in the gaps and the gift shop was small, but the items were reasonably priced and the staff was friendly. Parking was easy and convenient.

  • Aug 21, 2019 by Chamal Mediwaka

    Outside of the state house is a great place for early morning or evening workouts! This is also a great location to take some photos as a landmark of visiting Columbia or even a professional photo shoot. I think it should be a must visit just because Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and the State House of any state is one of the most iconic buildings.

  • Jul 25, 2019 by Janis Lynch

    We visited this capitol building and took the tour. It is a very impressive building. There's lots of dark wood and blue decor. It is one of the most beautiful state capitols we have ever been to. If you're in Columbia, don't miss this. Also, the gift shop is great. It has lots of SC gear and memorabilia. We did not tour the inside, however the grounds outside are worth seeing. Really beautiful with a variety of flowers and trees through well maintained walkways.

  • Jul 20, 2019 by Vlad V.

    I spent a day exploring Columbia and the South Carolina State Houses was listed as one of the top 10 attractions in town on Tripadvisor. After finding some metered parking close by on a Thursday afternoon, I walked the grounds. There's a park that surrounds the building with a bunch of statues, memorials, and plaques to check out. It was hot out there in July so I made my way indoors after a bit. Checking out the State Houses is free. They have complimentary tours throughout the day but I didn't show up at the right time. Instead, I ended up exploring the site on my own. There's a gift shop, first floor, and second floor area. Throughout the building, you'll find a bunch of paintings, statues, and beautiful architecture. You can explore the inside of the building on your own in 30 minutes or so. I enjoyed my visit and everyone working there was nice!

  • Feb 20, 2019 by Pamela M.

    I picked a rainy day to visit, but the grounds are still impressive. I could spend hours reading the monuments and memorials. What a great piece of South Carolina history.

  • Jul 05, 2018 by Gloria R.

    History is my first love. South Carolina State House was an great experience indeed. The deep rooted history here is amazing. The ground and buildings was immaculate in every way. There is so much to see here of interest to me. While the legislature is in session (January-May) there are daily tours Monday- Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm every half hour. My cell was being charged. Would you like to tour the State House online? You can see the portrait collections in the House and Senate Chambers or see all the timeless treasure are found on the State House grounds. It's all available under"explore the State House". You will fine so great photos to view. There are videos and more. I love capture the moment but my I-Phone was not having it.   Well the staff was so friendly and very knowledgeable about everything here. I will return. Gloria~

  • May 06, 2018 by Lornia W.

    Beautiful grounds and monuments. The State House is very beautiful inside and out. There is a security check point upon entering the building and a nice little gift shop on the left just up a few stairs.

  • Dec 26, 2017 by Eric W.

    Nice grounds. Lots of statues, plaques and information. Slave route was quite interesting. Updated number of children on the "Strom Thurmond" statue was interesting too. I'll need to look into that. Who is Essie Mae? Now that I looked over the web page, I regret not being here in the daytime. The tours sound interesting. I'll save the fifth star for that time. Nice Christmas decorations, and tree, too. The Christmas tree is definitely worth a photo. I'm sure there's one posted, if not, I have one to upload. Why not five stars? I've been here twice and both times I was almost run over by a guard driving a golf cart. Yeah, it was at night, but still... Bottom line: Don't venture out on the protruding sections on either side of the stairs. You'll likely get yelled at. Don't ask me how I know.

  • May 22, 2017 by Jerome T.

    No visit to Columbia is complete without a stop by the State House. The history and stories contained within these walls and on these grounds is unparalleled, and you can spend well over an hour just wandering around. The free tours are a nice touch, and our guide was knowledgable. The grounds also contain more than a dozen monuments and statues to historical events.

  • Mar 20, 2017 by Alex C.

    Awesome sauce.  The building is historic and grand.  Lots to see, read, and get pictures of.  Worth a trip itself.

  • Feb 22, 2017 by Rocky W.

    This Statehouse, like the local Zoo, is a good place to visit if you're new to town or showing someone around Columbia. I used to come often when the mobile app Pokemon Go first came out and was still popular because there are a lot of Poke stops around. It's located in the northern part of Vista, just past most the main restaurants and it's right across from the SC Department of Commerce. Outside, there are statues and monuments to check out and a round about that you can walk around. It's also a relatively safe place at night because there are cops around and good lighting. Most people come here to take pictures with the monuments and of them standing on the stairs of the State House. The area is pretty small so you will probably spend 30 minutes tops here. Also, this was the site of a lot of controversy when the Confederate Flag was still hanging up and protests happen here sometimes on hot social issues. Overall, the State House is a cool place to be a tourist and take pictures and should be essential to any visit to Columbia.

  • Jan 01, 2017 by Joy B.

    We love touring state capitol buildings. This one is surprising smaller than most we have been to. We did the guided tour, which was very informative. We learned a lot about what happened in Columbia during the civil war since construction on this building had been halted during the war. There was a short introductory video that is probably great for the school children, but not needed on the regular tour since you will get to see the actual spaces and learn the history. The most interesting pieces to me were the sword and mace in each chamber that will be put in place to start the new session. I have never seen anything like that before.  I would recommend seeing this fine piece of Victorian architecture and the amazing art inside.  The guided tour takes about an hour. They also offer pamphlets to explore on your own.

  • Sep 27, 2016 by Boon C.

    This may be the smallest state capital building that I have visited. It is a historical landmark here. It was built in middle of 1800'. It house the senate, house, and Supreme Court. The entrance to the building is at the side. It will security check for thing bring into building. This building was damage during the civil war. The rebuild take many years and completed on 1907. The current governor is working in there. The best part of a he building is at the second floor. It is beautiful when you get up at the turn of the stair. Yes. There are oooh  aaah moment. The color and southern decorations is very nice. The third floor balcony give you the grand look. The dome is a bit small compare to many capital. The outside of building surrounded by garden and grand step. Statues and monuments can be found.

  • Jul 29, 2016 by Chad P.

    Nice exterior, interior, and grounds at the South Carolina State House in Columbia! The tour guide very carefully skittered around the Civil War history is SC's disagreement with Abraham Lincoln signing the emancipation. The building has some Victorian features that she incorrectly noted is the only capitol building in the country with them (I guess she's never been to Hartford Connecticut). A pretty nice building that anyone going through town should stop to visit. Check out the actual cannon ball damage from the actual Civil War! They never repaired them and marked them with stars.

  • May 17, 2016 by Carson L.

    GORGEOUS GROUNDS!! I love the Strom Thurmond statue, but was deeply saddened when the confederate flag was removed. Oh well. I was eagerly greeted by the sweetest pages Mary-Caitlin Thurmond (relation to Strom unknown) and Savannah Leigh Greene! LOVE TO VISIT THESE SWEET PAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXO -Carson Lynfield Vassey

  • Apr 16, 2016 by Douglas P.

    An awesome and beautiful historical landmark.  A great place to walk around in the gardens and free tours too

  • Sep 08, 2015 by Jade B.

    State House Visit History being recently made in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina by the removal of the confederate flag from the grounds of the state house compelled me to take another visit to our State house. It was a beautiful 90 degree day. From the foliage that lined the property to each monument and its significance to our state. The grass was clean and very green and manicured so finely. Our mode of transportation was walking. Before I walked in I noticed the 28 monolithic columns which weigh 38 tons each and the six bronze stars where Sherman's cannons hit the state house.  Upon passing the court like security checks, the BEST tour guide, Mr. Paul McCravy, who is extremely knowledgeable of our beautiful Palmetto State and its rich history led us to the auditorium.  Each tour begins with a meeting in the auditorium for a showing a brief but informative video on the history of the state house and the business that is conducted inside. There were a wide range pamphlets for guests to choose from that gave information on the grounds, the sites of Columbia and the history of the state house. After watching the short video we were ushered in to the lower lobby where the floors of pink and white marble led to what Mr. McCravy described as the executive branch. This is where Governor Nikki Haley and Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster's offices are located to the left and the right. As I looked up to the lobby's ceiling, I was told it is made of handmade clay bricks from the Congree River which were painted white years later because the clay color was too dark. Here we were told of the history of the State house and its origin in Charleston. It was relocated to Columbia along with its 3 attempts to renovate it to its present form glory. There are approximately $500 million in renovations. While walking up the beautiful stair case that had cast iron railing, which was supposed to stand through any fire that may come its way, there were portraits of prestigious men and women who made a difference in the great state of South Carolina. People such as John C. Calhoun, Mary McCloud Bethune, Thomas Sumter and a portrait that depicted the Battle of Cowpen were all displayed in such elegance. In the main lobby there is a beautiful faux dome that is not to be mistaken with the dome we all see outside. There are mosaic glass art pieces and windows above the main lobby. You will also find the Old Law Library where the House and the Senate are able to meet informally but the lobbyists can not come in. On either sides of main lobby are the House of Representatives and the senate meeting rooms. The Senate room has 46 seats. There is a sword of meaning called the Sword of the state which is placed in its position to turns lights on both side and declare that session is in order. Here in this room they call by saying I or no . The other side of the lobby is the House of Representatives. This is the room where the flag was voted to be taken down.  This room has 124 seats and the speaker of the house is in charge. In this room mace lays in a cradle that turns the lights on, both sides representing in session.  They respond "yea" with a green light and "nay" with a red light. One of the portraits I saw was of Thomas Sumter who  was a revolutionary war general who the British nicknamed "The Fighting Gamecock" because of his fighting techniques. That is where The University of South Carolina gets its mascot from. Another image on the main lobby floor is the Ordinance of secessions which was established in 1860 where South Carolina left the United States and others  followed which in turn started the Civil war. Over all I had a wonderful tour of the South Carolina State House. I had an amazing interaction with my tour guide who was very informational and really seemed to care about what he is doing as the front of the house man in front. I learned so much more that I knew before and I found the building to be mesmerizing. The antique smell of the marble floors and portrait filled walls really gave the historic feel to the State House. There were no Senators or Representatives walking around the grounds because they are only in session from January to June. The security at the front as I arrived acted as a front of the house but also the back of the house because I am sure there were plenty out of site. I also took pleasure in the gift shop where there was a taste of South Carolina charm starting at the pictures of Boykin spaniel, the state dog, the rich Benne Wafers and the State flag on bow ties, pins, jewelry, mugs, books and grits. Right down to the sweet as southern sweet tea gift shop employee Diane who was welcoming and full of life. I would definitely visit again especially while in session.  I see why the State House is a top attraction for visitors and residents.

  • Jul 31, 2015 by Madelyn A.

    BREATHTAKING! The South Carolina State House is the building housing the government of the U.S. state of South Carolina.  It houses the South Carolina General Assembly and the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. There is no missing this building because it absolutely COMMANDS attention.  From its huge Greek Revival Structure to the massive statue of George Washington that stands at the base of its steps. It is several acres in size with lots of green space and manicured lawns and landscaping.  There are many sidewalks that lead off into various directions and there are other statues on the grounds.   Because of its "park like setting, you will often see people sitting on the benches enjoying the abundant shade or actively taking photos.  This building is open to the public and offers tours, but you may want to avoid the lunch hour (12pm to 1:30pm). The inside of the building is absolutely breathtaking, the columns, the ceiling, the stairway, the upper balcony, the spiral stair case, chandeliers, art.  Everywhere you look, there is beauty and history staring back at you.  You will be able to enter senate chambers and see how the voting process works and you will learn specific details about protocols and procedures.   This building is a "must see" for anyone visiting downtown Columbia and a perfect choice for the entire family.  As a matter of fact, we are thinking about going back again tomorrow to see it all again!

  • Jul 09, 2015 by Aaron L.

    A true feeling of history not found in a book. Was able to see firsthand the Conferderate flag protest going on just moments before a bill was passed calling for its removal from the grounds. This was history in the making no matter which side of the flag one is on.

  • May 17, 2015 by Paul C.

    A VERY beautiful campus of Capitol Buildings. The grounds are very well maintained and I visited it on a GORGEOUS day! The only disappointment was that there was NO tour as promised in the guidebooks. Guess the Gobermint employees drank too much on Saturday night and decided not to come in on Sunday, huh? GRRRRR. The Capitol Building itself it very nice. I would have LOVED to have seen the inside...but that wasn't meant to be today. Dag nabit! Really nice statues all around, of famous SC statesmen, and a really great tribute to the Aftrican American struggles. Of course, my favorite was the statue of Strom Thurmond.....famous for his never-ending filabusters. He was actually my Senator when I first moved to SC in the early 90s. I met him and he was one of the most charming and gracious politicians I've ever met. Overall, Columbia you have done very, very well with your Capitol! And with all the upgrades and renovations to Main Street, you're going in even a better direction!

  • May 16, 2015 by Alyssa M.

    I took the free guided tour today and it was the best part of my dads visit from Chicago. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and engaging. The rich history this town has to offer is wonderful to experience

  • Mar 28, 2015 by Mark L.

    If you make your way to Columbia, SC, you should stop in at the State House.  Offering free tours is a big plus if you are a history buff and love the smell of musty state houses.  On the groups, you are surrounded by grass patches to picnic, read a book or just nap.  The statues and confederate flag are a reminder of the proud Southern Heritage and the stairs are great exercise. You will see a lot of folks taking selfies and pictures all around the outside of the building.  If you are standing at the top, it is a beautiful view of the high rise structures of downtown. Getting to a state capital is always a nice reminder of where our countries origins came from.