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COLUMBIA, S.C.—The Lorick House, Womble Carlyle’s Columbia office, has earned kudos around the country as an example of historic preservation. Now, Womble Carlyle attorneys have one more bit of renovation to do – clearing a space for the Columbia office’s latest award. Womble Carlyle was one of 15 organizations and individuals from across South Carolina recognized for their work in historic preservation. The awards were presented by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Built in the late 1830s, the Lorick House at 1727 Hampton Street has been home to civic leaders and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Victorian-style house is on the same block as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s childhood home.
Womble Carlyle attorneys Kevin Hall, Butch Bowers and Todd Carroll led the redevelopment effort, as they wanted a new, client-friendly office space conducive to face-to-face meetings and social gatherings. The work began in late 2010 and was completed in late 2011. “We wanted all the architectural detail to be preserved, but we wanted it to function in a modern way,” Hall told The State newspaper.
Algernon Sidney Johnson was the first owner of the Lorick House. Johnson was a prominent newspaper editor in the mid-Nineteenth Century and led the effort to create Finlay Park. South Carolina Gov. John Lawrence Manning owned the house during the 1850s. In 1877, the house passed into the hands of the Lorick Family, where it remained until 2009.
Hall, Bowers and Carroll purchased the house from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house required extensive repairs and renovations, all made within the historic character of the home. The roof had to be replaced. Outdated electrical wiring was removed, and the home’s first central heating and air conditioning was installed. Finally, a wheelchair ramp was added.
No detail was too small during the restoration project. The oak floors with mahogany inlays were carefully restored. Layers of linoleum were ripped up, revealing beautiful pine floors. The Victorian trimwork on the outside of the home was replaced with boards from the same era, using old trimwork as a pattern. Decorative chimney pots were repainted to highlight the unique design of each pot. In all, the attorneys invested approximately $800,000 in the renovation.
The event was hosted by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation and co-sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Office of the Governor. Click here to read about the award ceremony in The State.