HomeHistoryArmories to National Register of Historic PlacesWilliamston Armory Complex

Williamston Armory Complex

Motor Vehicle Storage Building

Built circa 1948, possibly designed by Heyward S. Singley1

Armory Building:

Architect: Heyward S. Singley
Contractor: Harper Builders Supply Inc.
Cost: $132,625.00 (contract amount); $125,634 (completion report amount)
Completition Date: November 23, 1956
Notes:

Classified as a “Type 2 Armory” in correspondence in 1955, and Barnwell was used as a comparison for its analysis. There was a substantial issue that arose and was ultimately resolved regarding the plans for Williamston exceeding the space criteria contained in “Space Criteria for National Guard Armory Construction,” July 1, 1955, which replaced the former criteria in “Standard Space Requirements for Armory Construction Program,” (also known as Bulletin No. 2), April 18, 1952. Classified as a Single Unit Plus Armory in its final inspection report. Described as 14,217 sf in 1959, including 11,941 sf of “functional area” in the main armory building.2

SCARNG first established a Guard presence at Williamston in April 1947, when it created Battery D, 678th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion.3 This first unit received its first formal armory building in 1948, when SCARNG began construction on an MVSB at the present site. Eight years later, in 1956, SCARNG completed a modern armory building nearby.4  In the ensuing years, the Williamston unit went through a number of reorganizations: as 4th and 5th Platoons of the 116th Signal Company (Communications Center Operations), 108th Signal Battalion, following the Pentomic Concept reorganization of April 1959; 2nd and 3rd Platoons, 111th Signal Company (Large Base) in April 1963; Commcenter Section of the 3rd Platoon and the 4th and 5th Platoons, 116th Signal Company, 108th Signal Battalion in May 1965; Detachment 1, 116th Signal Company, 108th Signal Battalion in December 1971; and Company C, 111th Signal Battalion in October 1980. ((Rhodes, 196.)) As of 2005, Company C of the 151st Signal Battalion occupied the Williamston facility.5 At the time of the 2010 site visit, Williamston was home to the 251st Rear Operations Center Support (ASG).

The Williamston facility has been used as a polling center in the past, but concerns over the lack of adequate heat in the building ended this practice in 2007. Rentals, which were a common occurrence in the past, have also ceased in recent years. Sergeant First Class David Phillips, who has been at the site since 2002, was not able to provide an historical file or any plans for the site.6

As of the 2010 site visit, the Williamston facility consisted of three buildings located on about seven and a half acres of land approximately one half mile southeast from the town center of Williamston, including a small POL shed, the circa 1948 MVSB, and the 1956 armory building.

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  1. While noted architect Heyward S. Singley did not specifically claim credit for having designed this MVSB in 1948, he is known to have taken a contract to design a total of twenty MVSBs in 1948 for locations throughout the state, which strongly suggests that he may have played a role in designing this one, although no direct evidence has yet been found to demonstrate this. See Heyward S. Singley to Donald Russell, 1954.

  2. William M. Blatt to Adjutant General, State of South Carolina, November 18, 1955, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 1975, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1955, RG 168, NARA II. Regarding the architect and the described notes, see C. J. McCormick to Adjutant General, State of South Carolina, October 4, 1955, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 1975, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1955, RG 168, NARA II; Inspection Report, November 29, 1956, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 3259, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1957, RG 168, NARA II. On square footage, see “Armory Inventory and Stationing Plan, South Carolina,” 1959, Folder 633, South Carolina, Box 3784, Army-NGB Decimal File, 1959, RG 168, NARA II.

  3. Rhodes, 196.

  4. Kitchens, et al, 95.

  5. Kitchens, et al, 95.

  6. Kitchens, et al, 95, and Sergeant First Class David Phillips, personal conversation, October 26, 2010.