Historic Markers Across South Carolina



Visnska-Starks House



Marker ID:  40-134
Location: on Hampton St between Pine and Oak Streets, Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 00.629    W 081° 01.107
  34.01048333    -81.01845
Style: Free Standing **
 



Text:

This house, built after 1900, was originally a two-story frame residence with a projecting bay and wrap-around porch; a fire in 1989 destroyed the second story. Barrett Visanska (1849-1932), a jeweler, bought the house in 1913. Visanska, a native of Poland, was a leader in Columbia´s Jewish community and a founder of the Tree of Life Congregation. In 1938 Dr John J Starks, president of Benedict College, bought the house.

Dr John Jacob Starks (1876-1944), the first black president of Benedict College, lived here from 1938 until his death. Starks was president of Seneca Institute 1899-1912; Morris College 1912-1930; and Benedict College 1930-1944. After World War II this house served as the nurses´ home for Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital, created by merger in 1939. It was later a private residence once more.

Erected by the Richland Conservation Commission, 2007