Williamsburg County Robert Mills Courthouse
Originally designed by South Carolina-born and nationally renowned architect Robert Mills, the Williamsburg County Courthouse has been a defining feature of the downtown historic district of Kingstree, SC, since the 1820s. Since that time, however, the condition of the courthouse had steadily deteriorated, and the structure increasingly could not meet the County’s modern courthouse operational requirements (nor did the structure fully meet current code and accessibility requirements).
To restore the Courthouse to its original prominence, GMK Associates was retained in 2013 to design and construct major renovations and modernizations to the structure. These upgrades included repairs of deteriorated interior and exterior elements and other restorations that kept with the original period of construction, as well as mechanical and electrical modernizations that have allowed the structure to continue to function as one of only two Robert Mills-designed courthouses in the state that still serve as active courthouses.
The exterior renovations included repairs to the roof, plaster walls, and wooden windows and doors. The interior of the building was up-fitted with a new electrical system (including lighting, communications, and power) and new mechanical and plumbing systems. GMK further designed space reconfigurations in the interior to accommodate more modern functions of the courthouse, as well as replacement of all finishes throughout. Such courthouse functions include modernized clerk of court space, jury meeting rooms, inmate areas, attorney offices, and judges chambers. Other public functions housed in the facility include the County court records, tax collector, and auditor offices.
The completed project was awarded a 2015 Historic Preservation Honor Award from The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation. These awards are presented in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Office of the Governor and celebrate exemplary projects across the state that demonstrate a commitment to preserving South Carolina’s rich history.
Commercial / Government