Clemson House

Landmarks-Postcard ClemsonHousePerched on a hill overlooking Bowman Field, Clemson House has been home to faculty, staff, students and the families of more than one president over the past 65 years. Constructed in 1950 by Daniel Construction Company of Greenville, it was known as “Carolina’s smartest hotel.”
When it first opened, Clemson House featured a large dining room on the first floor, a club (non-alcoholic) on the lower level, seven stories of rooms and apartments, and a penthouse with the best view in town.
Originally intended to house faculty, staff and retired faculty, the apartment-style hotel was first pressed into limited service for student housing in the early 1970s.

The barbershop on the first level has weathered six decades of changing hair styles, offering both haircuts and conversation. Clemson House was also home to a radio station and broadcasting facility from the 1950s until the early ’80s.
In 1973, President Robert Edwards recommended changes to transition Clemson House into a dorm, but said that full-time residents could remain as long as they wished. None had the staying power of architecture professor Joe Young, who had been the first full-time resident in 1950. After five decades, Young said his goodbyes in 2000. The penthouse is named for him, as well as “Joe’s Place,” the bar located at the Madren Conference Center.
* Note: Corrected on 5/28/15 to reflect that the radio station housed at Clemson House from the 1950s until the early ’80s was not a student station. Thanks to Van Fair (the “F” in WSBF) for that correction.


1 reply
  1. Nancy Spitler
    Nancy Spitler says:

    A correction from Van Fair (the F in WSBF): In the early 1950’s The Clemson agricultural department built a recording studio in a small room on the ground floor of the Clemson house close to the main entrance. It was used by them to record large records with programs designed the help farmers in SC. These recordings were mailed weekly to all the radio stations in SC to be aired. I believe this operation was still ongoing when I left Clemson in 1960. These records were never played over WSBF.
    There was never any relationship between WSBF the Clemson Student Broadcasting Facilities and this Clemson house Operation. As the first chief engineer and co founder of WSBF my staff and I built the station in late 1957 and early 1958, on level 8 of the student center in two meeting rooms provided by Dean Walter Cox and Howard Rimmer who controlled the building. The $4000 funding was provided by Clemson. The station went on the air for the first time on AM in early May 1958 and continued from this location until the new student center was built many years later. The station changed to FM in 1960 before I graduated in Jan 1961.


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