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School of Visual Art and Design

Art History Professor Lydia Brandt and UofSC Students Help Preserve Bull Street District and Historic South Carolina State Hospital

March 27, 2020

An article in the Columbia Business Report published earlier this month featured the work of Professor Lydia Brandt, an art historian who studies the architecture of the South, and students in her art history and history classes at the University of South Carolina. Over the years, Dr. Brandt and her students have built extensive Bull Street Archives on the Digital US South Initiative (DUSS), a project of the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies that digitally preserves history, cultures, and landscapes of the U.S. South. The Bull Street District, originally home to the South Carolina State Hospital, was a massive complex of buildings with its own greenhouse, newspaper printer, pig farm, and milk pasteurization facility. It has since fallen into dilapidation and total abandonment. Digitizing Bull Street aims to piece together the history of this important landmark site in Columbia with research papers by Dr. Brandt’s students and historic photographs and archival documents accessed at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

According to Dr. Brandt, “Bull Street was home for thousands of people over two centuries. Our work resulted in a public symposium, an interactive website, and the preservation of multiple buildings previously slated for demolition.” You can follow along Dr. Brandt's classes, research, and historic preservation projects at

Dr. Brandt and her class in Fall 2012


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