We are excited to announce the upcoming renovations of the Seibels headquarters located at 1501 Lady Street. Due to the building’s history, the 1949 portion of the building is being added to the National Register of Historic Places and will be listed as a City of Columbia landmark. What an honor!
From 1949 until 1965, the building served as the headquarters for Carolina Life Insurance Company until purchased by Seibels in 1965. Seibels is the oldest original corporation still in operation in Columbia as reflected in its “PO Box 1” address. Since its founding in 1869, Seibels has played an important role in the Columbia community. The vertical filing system was an invention by Edwin G. Seibels that changed the administrative world significantly and was displayed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. PMSC (Policy Management Systems Corporation), a major influence on the introduction and development of property and casualty insurance policy administration software and systems worldwide, emerged from the Seibels headquarters in the 1970’s.
In addition to the historical innovation and impact that has come out of The Seibels Building, there are noteworthy architectural elements worth exploring. The Seibels Building was designed by Lafaye, Fair, & Lafaye and is Columbia’s only example of the Federal Modern style, which was popular amongst commercial and corporate buildings in the 1950s-60s. The addition to the building was completed by MB Kahn Construction Company in 1977. Since there have only been two occupants the building’s authentic style has been preserved. This is especially noted by visitors when they enter The Seibels Building through the front lobby and are greeted by the warm, dark wood paneling, grand columns, and original elevators.
Renovations are expected to take at least two years. With the renovation, Seibels will continue to honor the building’s rich history and design while also incorporating modern elements. As the project begins and we look forward to the final results, here’s a neat look at our building back in the 1950’s. The first photograph is an original image courtesy of Richard Library. The second image is the original photograph superimposed over a new photograph of the Seibels building. Take a look to see how the building compares! Keep checking back in with us as we document the renovations each quarter.