Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Allen University, chartered in 1880, was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. It had its origin in Payne Institute, founded in 1870 in Cokesbury, in Greenwood County. In 1880 the S.C. Conference of the A.M.E. Church voted to move Payne Institute to Columbia. It opened in Columbia in 1881 and was renamed in honor of Bishop Richard Allen (1760-1831), founder of the A.M.E. Church. The first university building on this site was in use by 1888.
Allen University, founded to educate ministers for the A.M.E. Church, also had primary and secondary courses, and college-level liberal-arts courses. It also offered courses in the arts and had one of the few black law schools in the South before 1900. Its primary and secondary programs ended in the 1920s and 1930s. Allen was also a significant center for civil rights activities in Columbia from the 1930s through the 1960s.
Erected 2012 by The Historic Columbia Foundation, The City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 40-152.)
Location. 34° 0.63′ N, 81° 1.252′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Harden Street, on the Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1530 Harden Street, Columbia SC 29204, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lighthouse & Informer / John H. McCray (within shouting distance of this marker); Carver Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Waverly (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Visanska-Starks House (about 700 feet away); Benedict College (approx. 0.2 miles away); Matthew J. Perry House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fair-Rutherford House / Rutherford House (approx. ¼ mile away); Heidt - Russell House / Edwin R. Russell (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
More about this marker. Even though the marker states it was erected in 2011, it was installed in 2012.
Regarding Allen University. National Register of Historic Places:
Allen University ** (added 1975 - - #75001705)
1530 Harden St. , Columbia
♦ Historic Significance: Event
♦ Area of Significance: Black, Education
♦ Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899
♦ Owner: Private
♦ Historic Function: Education
♦ Current Function: Education
Among the many private schools and universities for African Americans founded during the post-bellum period, Allen University was probably the first founded and operated by African Americans in South Carolina. Established by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Allen University was influenced by the denomination’s emphasis on education and a trained clergy. Named for Richard Allen, founder of the A.M.E. Church, Allen University was one of several universities established by the A.M.E. Church in the South following the Civil War. Begun four years after the University of South Carolina was closed to African Americans, Allen helped fill the pressing need for African American education in South Carolina. The university purchased its first property in Columbia in 1881. The first major building was erected and in use on the present site in 1888. The campus historic district contains four major buildings, ranging in date from 1891 to 1941, situated around a campus green. The architecture is typical of many university buildings around the country, characterized by red brick construction, white columns, and classical symmetry and detailing. Listed in the National Register April 14, 1975.(South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 28, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 948 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. 5. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 6, 7, 8. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on March 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 13. submitted on March 29, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Mike Stroud was the editor who published this page.