Broadcasting ESPN College GameDay from the Horseshoe gives us the opportunity to showcase one of the most beautiful and historic areas on our campus and in Columbia. With such a large production, a lot of care and precautions are being taken to protect the Horseshoe as we did in 2010 when we first hosted the national show there.
Here are a few interesting tidbits about the Horseshoe and what makes it so special to the university. Now, go impress your friends (and ESPN!)
- - Ten buildings on the Horseshoe are listed in the National Register for Historic Places.
- - Rutledge College, built in 1805, was the first building on the campus. For its first four years, it housed the entire South Carolina College - classrooms, library, faculty and student housing, chapel, laboratories, etc. Rutledge weathered fire, an earthquake, and the Civil War, after which it became the site of both federal and state offices. Similar fates faced other Horseshoe buildings.
- - The South Caroliniana Library (built in 1840) was the first free-standing college library in the country, predating those of Harvard (1841), Yale (1846), and Princeton (1873).
- - Zeta Tau Alpha sorority donated the current wrought-iron gates of the Horseshoe in 1982.
- The Horseshoe wall has surrounded the original campus for over 175 years and even sheltered it from the flames that burned much of Columbia in 1865 during the Civil War. There is now a detailed exhibit of the Horseshoe wall in the Lumpkin Foyer of the South Caroliniana Library through Oct. 27 partly based on a recent study by Public History Program graduate students.
- The Columbia Garden Club funded the Memorial Rose Garden, a sunlit garden of roses to honor deceased members.
- Robert Mills, the nation's first federal architect and designer of the Washington Monument, greatly influenced the architect of South Carolina College. He was involved in the design of Rutledge, South Caroliniana Library, and Maxcy Monument in the center of the Horseshoe.
- Carolina hosted Naval training programs during WWII that were frequently held on the Horseshoe and enrollment more than doubled in the post-war era as veterans took advantage of the G.I. Bill.
- - On September 11, 1987, Pope John Paul II visited USC and spoke to students on the Horseshoe as part of an ecumenical conference being held on campus. After the meeting, the pope then left campus to participate in a prayer service at Williams-Brice Stadium.
- - The Horseshoe hosted ESPN's College GameDay on October 9, 2010, when the Gamecocks upset No.1 Alabama 35-21, their first win over a No. 1-ranked team in history.