OUR BUILDING HISTORY
Originally constructed as a Federal
Building and United States Post Office, the building
dates 1911. James Knox Taylor was Supervising
Architect for the United States Treasury, and he is
credited with designing the building along with other
significant public structures of the time including
buildings at Ellis Island, the Philadelphia Mint, the
Denver Mint and the Governor's Mansion in Alaska.
Having served as the Post Office until the 1960's, the
building was vacated when a newer building was
constructed blocks away on College Street.
The building was first returned to
service as the Newberry Saluda Regional Library.
Having ownership transferred to Newberry County, the
building was re-purposed to serve as the library for
nearly fifty years. When the new library was
constructed, again blocks away but this time on Friend
Street, the building once again awaited new life. When
the Newberry County Historical and Museum Society
joined forces with the Newberry College Archives
Committee with the goal of establishing a museum in
what then became known to as "the Taylor Building".
Newberry County Council was approached in 2013 to
request that the building be designed as The Newberry
Museum. Realizing that significant funding would be
needed to remodel the building, a grassroots effort
was initiated to promote the project for the 2016
Capital Project Sales Tax referendum. Gratefully, the
museum was allocated $2.2 million for the restoration
when the citizens of Newberry County approved the
continuation of the penny sales tax.
THE RETURN TO PUBLIC
Architect Michael Kohn of Columbia, SC
was chosen for the restoration project with Mar
Construction as the General Contractor and Cummings
Construction as the Construction Manager. Work began
in the Spring of 2018. Initially, the building was in
a blank slate, but over the months, the design process
and work began to bring the building back to service.
Incorporating an elevator tower and courtyard with
handicap ramping, the exterior of the building adds
not only accessibility, but an outdoor space for
visitor enjoyment. Inside, a mezzanine expands the
display space above the main floor.
Due to extensive rains, the renovation
of the museum has extended into the Spring of
2019. Upon completion of the building and
grounds, work will begin immediately to furnish the
building and to install exhibits and technology. At
this time a definitive date for opening has not been
set, but plans are to open by the Fall of 2019.