Sulzbacher House

Sulzbacher House

Florence, South Carolina

Est. Construction 1912

What is its history?

This structure was the former residence of the Sulzbachers, a German Jewish immigrant family who played a significant role in the formation of Florence County, and whose presence contributed to the economic stability and cultural diversity of the City of Florence, SC, from approx. 1884 to 1924. Isaac Sulzbacher, patriarch of the family, was a watchmaker and proprietor of Sulzbacher Jewelry Company. During the 1880s Sulzbacher was an outspoken member of the committee who successfully petitioned the state of South Carolina for the Charter incorporating Florence County. He was also the official timekeeper of the clock in the Florence City Hall bell tower, and the official watch inspector for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co. At various times, this home was the residence of both Isaac and Samuel Isadore Sulzbacher. The building shows striking architectural similarity to other structures in Florence, all of which can be directly tied to the emergence of the city's German immigrant community during the early 20th century. The home further physically demonstrates the once-affluent character of its surrounding neighborhood.

What are its challenges?

Following a fire in the 1980s that damaged the roof, and subsequent abandonment by the owners, The City of Florence, purchased the property and has applied for a permit to remove the house to make way for a new affordable housing project in its larger effort to improve the area. One of the most notable structures in a community where its historic structures and community identity are in danger of being lost.

What it represents:

The sacrifice of historic structures and traditional community identity in a narrow approach to economic development.