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Roddey Apartments (1920 - )

Digitized Collection

Picture of Roddey Hall circa 1920s

     Increasing enrollment at Winthrop prompted a $100,000 appropriation from the State Legislature, in 1917, for a new dormitory to house 250 to 300 students. Plans were completed in 1917 by the architects, Edwards and Sayward of Atlanta, but construction was delayed by World War I. To economize during the wartime inflation, the college appointed its own superintendent of buildings and grounds, W. P. Goodman, general contractor. The building was completed in stages by 1920 for more than the allotted $100,000, despite cheap labor and surplus materials.

Connected to Johnson Hall and Rutledge Hall by covered passageways, Roddey Apartments was originally a residence hall named West Hall. The building was renamed in 1926 to honor William Joseph Roddey, Winthrop Board of Trustee member who served from 1893 to 1945. The Rock Hill industrialist played a prominent role in bringing Winthrop to Rock Hill.

Roddey is a three story masonry building with partial basement and a “U” shaped plan. Wing ends are connected with a two-level colonnaded breezeway. The hipped slate roof with gable attic dormers is partly hidden by a balustraded masonry and stone parapet with denticulated wood cornice. Large 9/9 sash windows with flat keystone arches and plain stone sills are evenly spaced, one per bedroom. Two moulded stone belt courses separating the first and second floors tie in with the second level railing of the breezeway. Another moulded stone belt course above the foundation ties in with the first level floor of the breezeway.

Inside corners are angled with steps to recessed doorways and corner stairwells. All doorways are framed with plain stone. Hall windows are sidelighted, with French doors opening to narrow, iron railed balconies on second floor angled corners and wing ends. A three story porch is on the west end of the main wing. It has a masonry arcade on the first level and separate square wood columns with railings on upper levels. The original view from this porch is blocked by Breazeale Apartments (1930) west wing. Long, wide halls run the length of each wing with bedrooms (15’ x 15’) on both sides and on wing ends. Halls feature wide moulded baseboards, paneled hardwood doors with moulded frames and transoms, and wood dog-leg stairs on inside corners and wing ends. The partial basement on the west wing contains a large recreation room, lounge, and utility rooms.

In 1975 dormitory rooms were converted to apartments in an effort to attract more married students to the campus as a result of declining enrollment (Roddey, along with two other dormitories, were closed the previous year due to declining enrollment and an increase in commuting students). The renovations included adding efficiency kitchens, bedroom and dinette furnishings and private baths in all but a few of the one and two-bedroom apartments. Partition changes to connect rooms were done to create two and three-room apartments. Common bath areas on each floor in the central wing, however, remain. Once the renovations were complete at the cost of nearly $350,000, Roddey had a capacity of 114 students in 57 apartments. The original capacity was 276 students in 138 bedrooms.

Roddey Apartments were again renovated in 1989. Once these renovations were complete the building was used to house primarily married couples, single parents, and graduate and international students. Roddey continues to serve in this capacity today and is tastefully composed and planned for collegiate living with its courtyard, breezeway, large windows, and spacious layout. Conversion into apartments has further enhanced the building’s value to the campus

Roddey was the first Neo-Georgian building on the Winthrop campus, setting the architectural style for the next 45 years. This style is compatible with earlier buildings with long, rectangular wings and three story heights. The red brick with white stone/wood trim, already established in earlier Winthrop buildings, is easily adapted to the Georgian style. These contrasting materials show off Georgian details like small columns, pediments, cornices, and window frames.

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