Kinard Hall is named for James Pinckney Kinard, second president of Winthrop, 1928-1934.
Winthrop’s academic classrooms and offices were originally on the upper floors of Main Building (later renamed Tillman Administration Building). In 1913 science facilities were moved to the Tillman Science Building. Kinard was built in 1929 to accommodate increased enrollment and expanded curriculum for general academic subjects. The Tillman Science Building was demolished in 1961, but Kinard Hall continued to serve as Winthrop’s main academic building for several more decades until many of these offices moved back to the upper floors of Main Building and other buildings around campus.
Kinard Hall was designed by Edwards and Sayward of Atlanta, the same architects who planned most of the campus in the 1920s. Like their other 1920s buildings, Kinard has a thoroughly Neo-Georgian style and is the most elaborately detailed of that group. It was completed in 1929 by the J. J. McDevitt Company.
The three story masonry building has a symmetrical “H” shaped plan, modified by the 1972 west wing annex. The hipped slate roof with hooded dormers and gable wings is partially hidden by a masonry and stone balustraded parapet with a heavy, denticulated wood cornice. Gable wing ends are exposed, with boxed cornices and returns. They have semicircular fanlights with brick arches and prominent keystones. The plain stone foundation and belt courses create horizontal sections in the walls.
Vertical lines are emphasized by the two story, semicircular entrance portico with fluted, “Tower of Wind” columns like those on Joynes and Johnson. The portico has a flat roof with wood balustrade, moulded cornice, and stone floor. An elaborate entrance under the portico has a paneled wood frame with swan’s neck pediment and a Palladian window above it. Side entrances on wings have similarly paneled heavy wood frames.
Windows are 8/8 composite sash, opening outward and up and down. They have plain stone sills and flat brick arches, with shaped stone lintels on wing ends.
In 1972, the three story annex to the west wing, designed by Lockwood Greene of Spartanburg, SC, was added. The annex is continuous with the main building in architectural style and details.
The building has wide central halls from wing to wing with classrooms and offices on all three floors. The main entrance has a symmetrical divided flight stairway to the second floor and basement. Stairways connecting all floors are in the back of the east wing. The partial basement contains offices, storage and maintenance areas.
The annex has a large lecture room in the basement, with offices and classrooms on each floor. Enclosed dogleg staircases are on each end of the annex, with an elevator near the north stairwell. From the back of the east wing a covered passageway connects Kinard to Bancroft and then to the other areas of the original campus.
On August 11, 1986, Kinard Hall was struck by lightning during an electrical storm and the attic of the building was set ablaze. The roof was the only section of the building destroyed by the fire itself, however, rain and the firefighters caused much water-damage to the rest of the building. Offices and students were displaced while the cleanup process began.
It took nearly two years before the building was totally operational. On March 28, 1988, the building was rededicated and a portrait of the building’s namesake, James Pinckney Kinard, was unveiled in the main lobby. The portrait was donated by the Kinard’s son, James Pinckney Kinard, Jr. The rededication of the building was accompanied by a reorganization of the offices formerly housed there. Prior to the fire, the building housed offices across many disciplines. Following the rededication, the building became the focus of the Liberal Arts program on campus and english, history, modern languages, psychology, political science, sociology, social work, and philosophy were almost exclusively taught in Kinard Hall. In the 1990s, however, the building proved to be inadequate to house the entire Liberal Arts program and many of these classes and offices spilled over into Bancroft Hall.
Kinard is the most elaborately detailed of the Neo-Georgian buildings on the Winthrop campus, but its very rich details contrasted with the red brick walls give it a cluttered appearance that betrays a cosmetic approach to using architectural styles of the past. This style was continued, but with progressively sparse and stylized details, in later campus buildings (Thurmond, Phelps, Sims, and Lee Wicker).