Clemson University – Clemson, South Carolina
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This scene, showing the heart of the Clemson University campus, was captured on the walkway in front of the Robert M. Cooper Library. The top of Tillman Hall – named for Governor “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman – can be seen in the background.
The university began on the former property of John C. Calhoun known as Fort Hill. Calhoun, a native of Abbeville District (now Abbeville County), moved to present-day Clemson in 1825 with his wife, Floride. The Calhouns bequeathed their estate to their daughter, Anna, who then left it to her husband, Thomas Green Clemson, with the stipulation that the land and an $80,000 endowment to the state be used for a state agricultural college.
After Clemson’s death in 1888, he gifted the Calhoun/Clemson estate to the state of South Carolina for the purpose of a school, and in 1889 Governor John P. Richardson, Jr., signed a bill establishing Clemson Agricultural College. The college opened in 1893 as an all-male military college and accepted women beginning in 1955 when it became a civilian school. The school was renamed Clemson University in 1964.
Clemson University remains a highly-ranked research university and boasts educational sites such as the Clemson Experimental Forest and the Musser Fruit Research Farm. Within the campus, the Robert M. Cooper Library, pictured above and below, has served generations of students.
Clemson football is a popular activity at the university. The Clemson Tigers have played in Memorial Stadium (seen above) – nicknamed Death Valley – since September 19, 1942. The stadium was built contrary to the advice of 1939 outgoing head coach Jess Neely, who commented that “ten thousand seats behind the YMCA” would be sufficient. Today Death Valley can hold more than 80,000 spectators and is one of the country’s largest on-campus stadiums.
Above is the President’s Park rotunda. The park sits in front of the president’s home and was established in 1925 as Trustees’ Park. The rotunda seen above is a new addition to the park gifted to the university by the Class of 1957. A future mural in the rotunda will represent the university’s virtues of teaching, research and public service.
Tucked away on a corner of Clemson University’s campus, on the banks of Hartwell Lake, is Hopewell House, built 1785. Originally a frontier log cabin structure enlarged into the home seen today. The houses’ most notable resident was that of Revolutionary War hero, Andrew Pickens. Pickens is well regarded for his contributions during the Revolutionary War as General in the Battle of Cowpens as well as his peaceful negations with Native Americans. His negotiations with the “Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks and Chickamaugas were monumental in peaceful treaties and cohabitation with Native-Americans following the Revolution.”
Clemson University Historic District I includes eight historic resources (four academic buildings, a recreational building, a post office, a marching and athletic field, and a park) located on the northern portion of the campus. It is significant for its association with the founding, development, and growth of Clemson University, which has played a major role in higher education in South Carolina since its founding in 1889. The district is also significant as an intact collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century educational buildings at a state-supported land-grant college. Properties in the district include: Tillman Hall (1893), Godfey Hall (1898), Bowman Field (1900), Sikes Hall (1905), Holtendorff Hall (1916), Trustees’ Park (c.1925), Long Hall (1937), and Mell Hall (1939). Styles include Renaissance Revival and Classical Revival. Tillman Hall was designed by architects Bruce and Morgan from Atlanta, Ga. Sikes Hall, Holtzendorff Hall, and Long Hall were designed by Rudolph E. Lee, a Clemson graduate and chair of the Department of Architecture.
Clemson University Historic District II includes seven historic resources (three academic buildings, a residence and associated office, and an outdoor theater) located on the Clemson University Campus. It is significant for its association with the Calhoun and Clemson families and for its association with the founding, development, and growth of Clemson University, which has played a major role in higher education in South Carolina since its founding in 1889. The district is also significant as an intact collection of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century educational buildings at a state-supported land grant university. Contributing properties include: Fort Hill (c.1830), John C. Calhoun Office (c. 1825), Hardin Hall (1890), Trustee House (1904), Riggs Hall (1927), Sirrine Hall (1938), and Outdoor Theater (1940). Styles include Renaissance Revival, Queen Anne, and Art Deco. Riggs Hall and Sirrine Hall were designed by Rudolph E. Lee, a Clemson graduate and chair of the Department of Architecture.
Clemson University Info
Address: 101 Sikes Avenue, Clemson, SC 29634
GPS Coordinates: 34.671259,-82.834442
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