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Clemson in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Riggs Hall

 
 
Riggs Hall Marker (side A) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 6, 2021
1. Riggs Hall Marker (side A)
Inscription.  Riggs Hall, constructed in 1927 to house architecture and engineering, was the second Clemson building designed by Rudolph E. Lee, architecture program founder and college architect from 1911-1940. It is in the Italian Renaissance Revival style and features five carved grotesque heads on the third-floor facade. The building was named for Walter M. Riggs, professor of engineering, first football coach, acting president from 1909-1911, and president from 1911-1924. Breezeways were added to connect Riggs to the Cook Engineering Laboratory in 1965 and Rhodes Engineering Research Center in 1968. It was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1990.

Riggs Hall was not Clemson's first engineering facility. Mechanical Hall, which originally housed engineering, was one of the earliest campus buildings but was destroyed by fire in 1926. Riggs Hall is located south of Mechanical Hall's site. The building's namesake, President Walter M. Riggs, brought football to Clemson. He organized the first team in 1896 and served as the first football coach. Architect Rudolph E. Lee designed the five carved grotesque heads that project from
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the façade between the third-floor windows. Clemson lore holds that the exaggerated and comical faces represent past professors.

Established
1927
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

 
Erected by Clemson University.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureEducationScience & MedicineSports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1926.
 
Location. 34° 40.635′ N, 82° 50.282′ W. Marker is in Clemson, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is at the intersection of Calhoun Drive and Fernow Street, on the left when traveling west on Calhoun Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 433 Calhoun Dr, Clemson SC 29634, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Sirrine Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Hill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trustee House (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Hill (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Hill (about 500 feet away); Site of the First Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Clemson Agricultural College
Riggs Hall Marker (Side B) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 6, 2021
2. Riggs Hall Marker (Side B)
(about 500 feet away); Fort Hill Plantation Office (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clemson.
 
Regarding Riggs Hall. Excerpt from the National register of Historic Places nomination for Clemson University Historic District II, which includes Riggs Hall:
Riggs Hall (1927): This building was constructed to replace
Mechanical Hall, which was the first home of the Mechanical
Department and which burned in 1926. It was the second building
on the campus designed by Rudolph E. Lee, Clemson graduate and
chairman of the Department of Architecture, and its construction
was supervised by Lee. The Department of Architecture, now the
College of Architecture, was the first occupant of Riggs Hall
when it opened in 1928; other departments housed there included
Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. The building, one
of the largest college facilities built in the South at the time
of its construction, was named for Walter M. Riggs, professor of
Engineering, first football coach, acting president of the college
1909-1911, and president 1911-1924. Although the College of
Architecture moved to Lee Hall when it was built in the 1960s
Riggs
Riggs Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, November 6, 2021
3. Riggs Hall Marker
Hall is still one of the centers of engineering on the
Clemson campus.

 
Also see . . .  Asset Detail | Clemson University Historic District II. National Register of Historic Places nomination (PDF) and photographs (PDF) submitted for the district, of which Riggs Hall is a contributing structure. (Submitted on November 8, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
Walter Riggs (1873-1924) image. Click for full size.
Unknown / Public domain, circa 1922
4. Walter Riggs (1873-1924)
Called "the father of Clemson football," he was a player on the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) football team. He compiled a 6-3 record in two years as Clemson's coach. Image scanned from 1922 TAPS, the annual at Clemson A&M College, vol. XV, J.V. Martin, editor-in-chief.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 241 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 8, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2. submitted on November 6, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   3, 4. submitted on November 8, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Feb. 29, 2024