Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Lawton-Chase House / Florence Museum[

Marker ID: SCHM 21-32
Location: at the Florence Museum, 558 Spruce Street, Florence, SC
County: Florence
Coordinates: N 34° 11.233    W 079° 46.569
  34.18721666    -79.77615
Style: Free Standing **


Lawton-Chase House

This Art Moderne house, completed in 1939 for Joseph Maner Lawton, has housed the Florence Museum since 1953. It was designed by Sanborn Chase, then an engineering student influenced by Moderne architecture in France and later a prominent local businessman. The house features curved streamlined forms, a semicircular glass block entrance bay, and black glass bands just below the roofline. When completed it was described as “the talk of Florence.”

Florence Museum

The Florence Museum, chartered in 1936, was founded by the Florence Museum Committee, a group of civic-minded women who had organized as the Blue Bird Tea Room Committee during World War I. It was housed in the basement of the Florence Public Library from 1939 to 1952, when the museum board acquired this house. Its collection of fine art, archaelogical and historical artifacts, and natural science exhibits was opened to the public here in 1953.

Sponsored by the Florence Museum, 2011