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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

North Carolina Mutual Building

 
 
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2012
1. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker
Inscription. (Front text)
The North Carolina Mutual Building was built in 1909 by the N.C. Mutual and Provident Association, a black-owned life insurance company with an office here until the mid-1930s. Built as a two-story commercial building, with a third story added after 1927, it was part of the Washington Street business district, an important part of Columbia’s African -American community for most of the 20th century.
(Reverse text)
This building had stores on the first floor and offices on the upper floors. First-floor tenants included barbers and beauticians, tailors and dressmakers, and restaurants. Second and third floor tenants included insurance agents, doctors, and lawyers. The Palmetto Grand Lodge owned the building from 1927 to the early 1940s. The N.C. Mutual Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
 
Erected 2011 by The Historic Columbia Foundation, the City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 40-153.)
 
Location. 34° 0.197′ N, 81° 2.231′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Washington Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map.
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2012
2. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, reverse side
Located between Assembly and Park Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia SC 29201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nathaniel J. Frederick House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Israelite Sunday School / Columbia's First Synagogue (about 300 feet away); The Big Apple (about 500 feet away); St. Peter's Church and Ursuline Convent (about 700 feet away); Washington Street (about 800 feet away); St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Courthouse Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vietnam Veterans & POWs (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbia.
 
Regarding North Carolina Mutual Building. National Register of Historic Places:
North Carolina Mutual Building ** (added 1995 - - #94001570)
♦ Historic Significance: Event
♦ Area of Significance: Social History, Commerce, Black, Law
♦ Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924
♦ Owner: Private
♦ Historic Function: Commerce/Trade, Social
♦ Historic Sub-function: Business, Meeting Hall, Professional, Restaurant, Specialty Store
♦ Current Function: Razed and removed

Built in 1909, this commercial building
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker on Washington Street, seen looking west image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2012
3. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker on Washington Street, seen looking west
became a significant part of the Washington Street business district. African-American businesses, professionals, and institutions in the North Carolina Mutual Building provided needed goods and services to Columbia’s African American population during the years of Jim Crow segregation in the South. In order to deal with segregation, Columbia’s African Americans formed many of their own institutions and businesses to serve their community. While these institutions and businesses were located in several areas of the city, the main concentration was in the Washington Street business district, the city’s black downtown during the period of Jim Crow segregation. The North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association built the North Carolina Mutual Building. African American businessmen in Durham, North Carolina founded this life insurance company that became the largest African American owned life insurance company in the United States. Built at a cost of around seven thousand dollars, the structure included two stores on the first floor and nine offices on the second floor. The company would use three of the offices and rent the others. Though it sold the building in 1920, North Carolina Mutual continued to maintain an office in it until the mid-1930s. The building is a rectangular brick commercial block with three stories. The first two floors are visually distinct from the third floor
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, looking east along Washington Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2012
4. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, looking east along Washington Street
which is a later addition. Listed in the National Register January 20, 1995. (South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
 
Also see . . .  North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. "Since its beginning in 1898, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company has grown to become one of the nation's most widely-known and successful business institutions. It is the only insurance company domiciled in North Carolina with a charter dated before 1900. North Carolina Mutual is the oldest and largest African American life insurance company in the United States. ..." (Submitted on June 17, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansIndustry & Commerce
 
the one-time North Carolina Mutual Building image. Click for full size.
S.C. Dept.of Archives and History, circa 1995
5. the one-time North Carolina Mutual Building
was also known as Blue Palace Tea Shop and Barber Shop 1001, 1001 1/2 and 1003 Washington St. , Columbia
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, seen today in front of a parking lot image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2012
6. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker, seen today in front of a parking lot
North Carolina Mutual Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 17, 2012
7. North Carolina Mutual Building Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6, 7. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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