Workers are beginning to renovate the interior of the Minton family home two years after working on the exterior. (Photos by Jack Wolfe/Carolina News and Reporter)

The historic Minton family home that sits 100 yards from USC’s Horseshoe is undergoing renovations.

In front of the 4,015-square-foot, wooden rental home is a historical marker detailing the lives of the Minton family.

The family was one of the more prominent and influential families in South Carolina during the Reconstruction period of the 1870s, said USC professor Dr. Bobby Donaldson, who heads the Center for Civil Rights History and Research.

Donaldson was responsible for erecting the marker several years ago along with Sigma Pi Phi, the oldest African-American Greek-letter organization in the nation. Dr. Henry M. Minton, a pharmacist, was the fraternity’s primary  founder in 1904 in Philadelphia.

The privately owned house, built in 1872, has long been a rental home and will be again, according to the property’s manager, John Gregg.

“I strongly support any efforts of rehabilitation and restoration of historic properties,” Donaldson said. “It keeps the character of the community, but also it serves as a very valuable research and teaching tool for those of us who do this kind of work.”

The house once stood on the corner of Gervais and Marion streets, Donaldson said, but was moved to its current location at 1012 Marion St. around 1911.

Renovating houses with historic significance can mean restrictions on what can and can’t be replaced or added onto the property, said city of Columbia planner Amy Moore.

“It’s important to allow some alterations so that the building continues to have integrity, but also a real utility for the people who are living and working within it,” Moore said.

The history of a building mainly depends on its exterior look, she said.

The preservation of a building’s look allows people to go through Columbia and see the history of the city play out through its architecture, Moore said.

“So that folks can say, ‘Oh, what a cool building,’ and it doesn’t get completely messed up with incompatible or unsympathetic alterations from the exterior,” Moore said.

Workers are now working on the building’s interior without entirely replacing the look of the home, Gregg said.

“We got some new heart-pine floors to hopefully match the old heart-pine floors,” he said.

The renovations include replacing old broken and aging doors, fixing the bathrooms and working on the building’s flooring, Gregg said.

“We kept most of the flooring intact,” Gregg said. “We took (out) a lot of linoleum that was in there, and we’re getting ready to refinish the actual floors.”

The home’s exterior  was refreshed two years ago, Gregg said. Workers used similar-looking materials when replacing rotting wood, he said.

“If you take something down that’s rotten, you need to put something back that is almost identical to it,” he said.

The home is not in a historical district. It sits across Marion Street from the 12-story Claire Towers apartment complex.

The house will be rented to students, as the location of the home makes it ideal for students who want to live near campus, Gregg said.

“It’s a big convenience,” he said. “You got a lot of these big buildings being built off campus where they have to walk 3 to 4 miles to class as opposed to 100 yards to the Horseshoe.”

The Minton family home sits 100 yards from USC’s Horseshoe, next to The Senate Club apartment building.

The historical marker in front of  Minton family home details the history of the family.

Henry Minton helped found the nation’s first Black Greek letter fraternity, the historical marker says.

Interior renovations to the house included replacing old broken and aging doors, updating the bathrooms and working on the building’s flooring.