UF Builds:  The Architecture of the University of Florida
William A. Edwards
Architect, University of Florida, 1905-1925
---- William Augustus Edwards (1866-1939), a native of Darlington, S.C., was one of the primary architects of educational buildings in the Southeastern U. S. in the early 20th century.  Edwards earned a degree  in mechanical engineering from South Carolina College, Columbia, in 1889.  In 1895 he and Charles Coker Wilson, also of Darlington County, set up on office in Columbia after working in Virginia.  Wilson and Edwards prospered in Columbia.

In 1901, Edwards teamed with Frank C. Walter. Edwards and Walter's projects through 1908 included many buildings associated with South Carolina's statewide program of public school construction.  In 1908, Edwards and Walter moved to Atlanta where they were briefly associated with an architect named Parnham.  This firm last through 1911, when Walter left to pursue his own practice.  In 1915, Edwards established a partnership with William J. Sayward, and in 1919 Joseph Leitner became associated with the firm.  Edwards continued to work successfully from his office in Atlanta until his death in 1939.

Distinguished academic buildings designed by William A. Edwards include works at these institutions:

  • Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia
  • Clemson College (Clemson University)
  • Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia
  • Florida College for Negroes (Florida A&M University)
  • Florida State School for the Deaf and Blind
  • Florida State College for Women (Florida State University)
  • Georgia State College
  • Georgia State Women's College (Valdosta State University)
  • South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, Spartanburg County
  • University of Florida
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Winthrop College, Rock Hill
During 1903-1915 Edwards design all S.C. courthouses.   Most are still standing.  Among them:  Darlington County, Kershaw County, Sumter County, Abbeville County, Lee County, Dillon County, Calhoun County, York County, and Jasper County.

For more information about William Edwards, including a list of his works, information about architects associated with him, and a bibliography, consult

Wells, John E., and Robert E. Dalton.  The South Carolina Architects 1885-1935; A Biographical Dicitonary (Richmond, VA: New South Architectural Press, 1992), pp. 44-49.

Historic Sites | UF Builds

Page Created:  10 October 1999
Page Author:  Edward H. Teague