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The Towers, Corner of Main & Blossom: September 2006   111 comments

Posted at 10:22 pm in closing

[ Welcome LinkedIn visitors. If you enjoy this USC rememberance, you may also like Bell Camp, The Russell House Theater glory days, The Golden Spur, The Shuttlecocks, and The Wade Hampton Hotel -- Ted ]

If this post works out, it will be the most pictures I've had for a single closing, and the most intermixed the text and pictures have been. We'll see how it goes.

Also, I've been looking at my web statistics, and it seems to me that most people aren't clicking on the pictures to get the full-sized versions, so I'll just mention it explicitly: If you click on the pictures, you get bigger versions (usually).

So what can I say about The Towers? Well, I've heard many people call them the armpit of USC, and I've heard other people suggest that if USC were a dog that needed its temperature taken, The Towers were where the thermometer would be inserted. None of that is wrong. Still, I spent a good chunk of time there, and when I heard they were all going to be torn down, I'll admit I was sorry.

Somehow, even after I knew the end was near, I never got around to taking many pictures of the outside of the towers. In fact, this one is about it. I was eating at Moes, when I remembered I wanted to take some shots, but all I had in the car was a crummy disposable camera, so the focus is pretty bad, and I didn't bother to get an unobstructed shot for some reason:

I read in The State that there was going to be a Towers farewell reception, and that in avance of that, the Housing department would be offering farewell tours:

Bid Towers a fond farewell

Former students who once lived in the Towers, or honeycombs residence halls at the University of South Carolina may visit campus for a farewell reception and tour of the halls on Aug. 25.

Originally a complex of six buildings built in 1958 and 1965, the Towers will be replaced with a residence hall and academic center for South Carolina Honors College students.

The buildings will be demolished in September.

The Aug. 25 event is free and will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the lobby of Towers.

Leading up to the farewell event, USCs housing staff also will give tours of the Towers on weekdays from 9-11 a.m. and on Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. Tours are by appointment only.

Because interest in the event and the tours is expected to be high, the university is asking people who plan to attend the Aug. 25 event or to schedule a tour to notify housing staff online at

I signed up for a "by appointment only" tour on 24 Aug, and as I turned out to be the only person there, was able to see exactly what I wanted to. Douglas was my Tower so I did a tour of my old floor.

Here is the elevator lobby for Douglas. The elevator in a men's dorm led a rough life. Half the time it was broken, and the other half, it was strewn with pizza boxes and reeked of vomit. There was very little notion of dorm security in 1980, so if the elevator were broken, you could just take the stairs, which opened unsecured to the plaza outside.

Here is my room, Douglas 618. Since it was directly in front of the elevator, it later became an RA room. The peep-hole is a later addition. And yes, I did unscrew the number-plate and now have it at home:

When you first come into a Towers room, you immediately see the "honey-comb" veil blocks which form the wall to the "patio" which is entered from two sliding glass doors. (In practice, these were "barely sliding" glass doors):

After that, you notice the two cots, one along each wall. These appear to have been upgraded from the models which "graced" the buildings when I was there. The arrangement is a bit different as well -- we had study carrels against the back wall of the rooms, and the carrels also acted as de-facto headboards for the cots:

If you walked out onto the "patio", you had a grand view -- of the towers opposite you (assuming you got close enough to the veil blocks to look through them anyway). If you click the picture for the high-res version, you will observe that the Tower opposite almost looks like it has a pattern in its veil blocks which might make letters. That's possible. Often things were spelled out by putting soft-drink cans (shiny-end out) into the veil blocks recesses in patterns. It wouldn't surprise me if after years you ended up with coke stains almost making ghost letters:

I found that someone who had the room after I did was a bit of an artist. Here are two pretty good chalk drawings done on the 618 patio (and by "pretty good", I mean "a lot better than I could do"):

Here's something we definitely didn't have in the 1980s, an RJ-45 ethernet network jack. It's hard to imagine now, but ethernet was at that point an almost experimental technology, and wiring a building for ethernet meant stringing yellow 3/4" cable everywhere. You actually had to cut the cable into two segments to install a new tranceiver (unless you used "vampire" taps). What we had was a black, rotary dial telephone in each room, and that was it. And forget cable! If your room faced the right way, you might be able to pick up WIS. WLTX or WOLO were pretty iffy (though if you were on the west side of Douglas, you could pick up Channel 6 out of Augusta sometimes). One factor in the demise of the Towers was that Gen-Xers & Gen-Yers just wouldn't put up with the kind of stuff we thought was normal (and we walked barefoot through the snow to grammar school, uphill both ways!).

Here's another amenity we didn't have in the 80s: Any kind of thermostat, or as this appears to be at least some sort of fan control for the heat and AC. I suppose there was a thermostat somewhere in the building when I was there, but as far as I could tell, the climate control worked by running the heat full-blast, all the time during the winter, and running the AC full-blast all the time in the spring and fall. What this meant in practice was that our only mechanism for temperature control was the patio doors. On the coldest days, you had to leave them half open to the outside so the furnace wouldn't bake you out of the room. I suspect orbiting satellites could pick up the temperature increase around the towers as every room vented its excess heat that way.

Here's the view from the patio towards the door. These were two student rooms, and each of us had an open closet with a chest-of-drawers:

As you might imagine, the bathrooms in the Towers were every bit as palatial as the rest of the dorm. Here is a sink, and the plumbing access panel which was just as rusty, and paint-chipped in the 80s as it is in this picture.

Here is a whole row of sinks. There was another row on the opposite side of the bathroom, and when the dorm was occupied, each had a mirror above it:

Here is one of the showers in the communal shower stall. (I brought a screw-driver with me, and stole one of the knobs). You can't see it in this picture, but the shower stall was set off from the rest of the bathroom by an entrance with a raised tile "curb" so that the shower water didn't run into the rest of the bathroom. At some point before I got there, several of the residents figured out an interesting property of the shower room. It was tiled from floor to ceiling, and the doorway was ony four feet or so wide. They procured, from somewere, a sheet of plywood five feet or so tall, and more than wide enough to block the shower entranceway. They plugged the drain in the shower floor, put the plywood across the entrance and turned on the water. The water started to rise, and gradually the water pressure glued the plywood across the doorway in an almost watertight fashion: Presto! Instant indoor swimming pool! I had thought this was probably just a Towers legend, but I later learned that it did indeed happen. Of course, being college students, and male, no one thought about the weight of the water and the strength of the floor. Luckily, it held:

I said "communal shower" above, and in the 80s it was. It appears that sometime later, in an attempt to spare just awoken eyes from truly scary sights, they installed private stalls:

Here is the Towers Farewell Reception on 25 Aug 2006. Note the Towers T-shirts being sold and worn:

Here is the historical information on Douglas:

And here is the historical information on Snowden (which was supposed to be pronounced "Snau-den", though it was universally pronounced like the frozen precipitation) and the girls' dorms, Baker and Burney, which were torn down well in advance of the rest of The Towers:

'Cocky', or 'Big Spur' or whatever he is called nowadays was there for the festivities:

There was a raffle as well as an auction and they had audience volunteers do some of the announcements.

And finally: THE END. (Click to play video):

So there you have it. Yes, it was the armpit of USC, but darn it, it was the armpit I lived in, and eyesores that they were, I do miss The Towers.

UPDATE 13 October 2009: Here is a postcard view of The Towers, and the text from the back. I really should put it at the top of the post, but that would mess up the flow of the post as I wrote it.


Designed by the architect of the U. S. Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair, Edward P. Stone. Built in 1958 each unit houses 250 students. Outside grill reduces air conditioning by 1/3 and shades four foot balcony that juts from each room

UPDATE 15 Jan 2011 -- Commenter Paul sends these to links to pictures taken at the 2006 Towers Reunion:

Set 1

Set 2

UPDATE 23 September 2023: Here are some good stories from The Towwers.

Also updating tags and adding a map icon.

Written by ted on March 14th, 2008

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

111 Responses to 'The Towers, Corner of Main & Blossom: September 2006'

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  1. I lived on 6th floor Douglas as well. What a dump. Fun, but a dump. Who can imagine nowadays what we had then (at least until 1988): the ability to come and go as one pleased without signing in; you could bring anyone or anything (beer kegs) up to your room without question.



    18 Mar 08 at 11:25 am

  2. this building was included in a recent columbia design league lecture on "modernism in columbia." these dorms were designed by edward durell stone, the same architect who designed thomas cooper library, the kennedy center in dc and radio center music hall in new york city. an article in the carolinian noted that the "veilblocks that cover the outside of the buildings made the structures more energy efficient, enabling them to use only 60 percent of a normal building's energy requirements."


    18 Mar 08 at 11:52 am

  3. Yes, the access policy was essentially that there was no access policy.

    As for 60% less energy -- maybe if they'd actually installed some kind of working thermostats, but as I said the way it worked out in practice the only way not to fry was to heat the great outdoors by opening the patio..


    18 Mar 08 at 11:40 pm

  4. I did not go to this school but I've seen those buildings and always wondered what the deal was. The long format + multiple pictures post was fun, informative, and brought some real nostalgia for my own dorm days. Great entry.


    21 Mar 08 at 10:09 am

  5. Thanks!


    21 Mar 08 at 11:04 pm

  6. One of the first experiences I had of USC college life came in the towers. A lot of my high school friends who went to Carolina wound up staying in the towers. I'd come and visit them every so often and as a Clemson student, I'd bust their balls over their crummy living conditions. Looking back though, you can't say you've "been to college" unless you lived somewhere that should have been condemned or gutted 15 years before you even enrolled.

    Awesome post man, keep it up.


    25 Mar 08 at 11:45 am

  7. Thanks! I'm back in town so hopefully I'll get some new stuff up soon.


    25 Mar 08 at 12:06 pm

  8. Oh man! I lived in Baker for a year in 75/76 and had managed to wipe out my memories of what the rooms were like until your pictures brought it all back. In our bathrooms they had large, attractive, plywood boxes covering the row of urinals. The elevator seldom worked right. It really was a dump.


    14 Apr 08 at 3:13 pm

  9. Was Baker a guys' dorm back then? I think it and Burney were girls' dorms by the 80s.


    14 Apr 08 at 5:44 pm

  10. These pics brought back great memories. I live in Douglas 513 for two and a half years, 1978-1980. There are so many stories to tell, I don't know where I'd start. The pic of the gang showers reminded me of the guys on the hall who would put a table across the shower entry and then block up the drain. They'd get about three feet of water in the shower and float around on rubber rafts smoking pot and playing guitar. I also remember a party where a four-piece band set up in the bathroom. And hitting golf balls with a four iron down the hallways. The sound of a golf ball hitting those thick wooden doors was just awesome. You could also count on at least one girl from Baker or Burney each semester who liked to give the guys a show from her porch.

    Sad to see the old dump gone.


    29 Aug 08 at 8:41 am

  11. Well one night I was visiting my friend and I'd place a bottle rocket in one of the blocks and shoot it at the other dorm. I'd shoot one just every once in a while - kinda like harassment firing.

    Well, one shot got lucky and managed to shoot into a room had it's glass doors open. When the firecracker exploded you could, in a flash, see two guys sitting facing each other passing a joint between themselves.

    Oh man, we laughed ourselves sick over that one. Can you imagine 2 stoned guys just chillin' and have a firecracker pop in the room?

    Good times. Grin


    3 Jul 09 at 11:56 am

  12. Just another piece of Columbia History gone for good..dump or no dump or whatever you wanted to call them, they were still something that was interesting. My brother stayed in one of the Towers back when he was at USC in the mid 90's. Too bad they're gone, but so are a lot of things now.


    3 Jul 09 at 8:18 pm

  13. I just found out my cousin will be staying in the new Honors dorm being built on the site.

    He won't know what he missed..


    4 Jul 09 at 2:16 am

  14. I just discovered that this series of photographs was taken with your old Fujica 35mm from reading the Columbia Photo Supply entry, and I'm trying to decide if I like the saturation more with film or digital. Please don't take that the wrong way, because I enjoy your Columbia Closing photography whether it's digital or film, definitely an integral part of your blog. It's really a larger question for me. But if you had told me 10 years ago that I would say the words, "I think I like the digital better," I would have told you to put me away in the asylum. Same with digital and analog audio recording equipment, though I still stand by having an all-tube guitar amplifier along with all-analog stomp boxes.

    But anyhoo, I really enjoyed the tour through "your" Towers, glad you had the presence of mind to get out and document the end of an era. I could have stayed there for my brief few semesters at U.S.C., but chose to live on Lee Street in an old house instead. Quite frankly don't think I would have ever been able to sleep at the Towers, I would have been permanently Beat. I would like to relate my experiences with visiting friends there except the problem is the only thing I remember is walking into the dorm room; I never remember actually being in the dorm room or walking out of the dorm room ;-) I do remember that every single buddy I visited had a room on the Main Street side, which in retrospect seems statistically unusual.

    Did you film the video? Very good footage with titles for that extra touch. The video quality looks quite decent, just curious about the camera on that one.

    Michael Taylor

    9 Nov 09 at 1:41 am

  15. My Fujica is definitely better than Closing-Cam 1.0, but on the whole, Closing-Cam 2.0, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is better than the Fujica, though it pains me to admit it.

    The Fujica still has the advantage of resolution in that if I scan the negatives myself I can get a much higher pixel count than the Lumix. I also still much prefer composing a picture through a viewfinder rather than with my arms held out in front of me trying to see an LCD. Eventually I will get a DSLR to go back to that..

    The video is not mine, but unfortunately I cannot recall exactly where it came from. I downloaded it from somewhere at the time, and had the file sitting around for a few years. If anyone wants credit or for me to take it down let me know.

    I don't believe I've posted any video from the Lumix yet, but I did post several videos on the Myrtle Beach Pavilion entry that were done with a CVS returnable video camera (akin to the "Flip" video camera) and then (unwisely) transcoded to wmv.


    9 Nov 09 at 1:58 am

  16. I lived in Baker Dorm Fall '75- Fall '78. When Dave Wilsford was running for Student Body President, he dragged me into his campaign, and we visited most of the dorm rooms on campus. Dave and I knocked on doors and handed out pamplets. (When Dave won the election, I felt like a proud little sister!) I observed Baker and Burney were in far better shape than Douglas, Snowden, Laborde, and Moore. I was able to see some handy carpentry-work in the male dorms. Several male students paneled their patio porches, erected bunk beds there, and used their actual dorm room for entertaining. Several rooms had sofas and chairs, sound systems, etc. I imagine the paneled porches were pretty cold in the winter. Concrete in Columbia is unforgiving when the temperature falls.

    I grew up while living in Baker. I'm 52 now, and I still dream I'm in the Honeycombs. I used to play the piano in the Towers lounge late at night when I couldn't sleep.

    The Towers impacted me more than I thought possible.
    I was in Columbia for appointments in 2008, and I made a point of driving by the Towers to watch the final destruction of Laborde, then Moore.

    Losing the Honeycombs represents an end of an era. It is sad to see the dorms gone. :-(

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    24 Nov 09 at 11:07 pm

  17. "Baker and Burney were in far better shape.."

    Well, yeah, they didn't have guys living in them.. :-)


    24 Nov 09 at 11:26 pm

  18. That's hilarious reading about the patio "bedrooms," I had no idea. Sounds like something I would have done, only I'm so OCD I would have insulated it. Thanks for sharing your memories Susan.

    Michael Taylor

    24 Nov 09 at 11:41 pm

  19. I spent my first 2-1/2 years at USC in these dorms, first Dorm H, later the upscale Dorm K where bathroom stalls actually had doors and each room had a phone.

    Although almost new at the time, the University hadn't found any politician, alive or dead, that wanted his name associated with any of these dorms, so they named them only by letters. I think they were still that way when I graduated in June, 1970 (just weeks before I got drafted).

    The Towers prepared me for the next 18 months of life after USC when I lived in various Army barracks. The last barrack was a luxury suite compared to Dorm K.

    None of the inhabitants of the dorms back then ever thought about 'patio bedrooms' or turning the community shower into a 'water feature'. What great ideas. I never knew what they were thinking when they put patios on those miserable rooms until now.

    Sadly, as you get older, more and more of the places you've lived and worked, and places you thought would always be there, will suffer the fate of The Towers. Sometimes it's hard to understand why they're gone. Sometimes, like The Towers, it isn't hard at all.

    Bob in Tampa

    28 Nov 09 at 7:36 pm

  20. Like to make a comment on Susan's observation on handy carpentry work. My roommate, the Tinman, and I were the first Towers residents to build a bunk bed (fall '75) which made the room into more of a studio. This now seems to be the norm. Ted, we also lived in Douglas (3rd floor). Our floor arranged an impromtu reunion in Douglas, July 2006 before the sad demise. Good times were had by all !!!


    10 Dec 09 at 12:26 pm

  21. Having been a 4-year resident of Douglas in the mid-70's it has been a gas reading all the stories regarding events in the towers. It is interesting to note that the crazy things that occured in the 70's continued for 30 more years until the buildings were closed. A special hats off to Susan who shared a woman's perspective on that special place. The roles that Baker and Burney residents played in the personality of the towers should not be forgotten. SO LET'S HEAR IT FROM YOU LADIES! I can recall peering over the top wall of Douglas during suntanning days, just to get a look at you beauties in Baker. And there were many occasions when the call "PEEP SHOW" resounded through the halls of Douglas, signifying when a coed was in state of undress, unaware that her curtains were open. You have never seen so many guys packed against the veil blocks; it is surprising the building didn't start to lean. Eventually the chants of "oh my God" would get so loud the unsuspecting female would realize what was occuring, and throw the curtains shut to the disman and cursing of the dissapointed males. I am sure this was a common occurence with every group of guys that were lucky enough to live in Laborde or Douglas.

    Tin Man

    10 Dec 09 at 5:36 pm

  22. Let's not forget that special rivalry between Douglas and Laborde !


    10 Dec 09 at 7:31 pm

  23. My Honeycomb porch faced the Cooper Library and reflection pool for 4 years '75-'79. I didn't realize there was such scandalous behavior going on between the residents on the inner rooms. Some of the BURNEY GIRLS were baddddd. Fortunately, I lived in BAKER, and led a sheltered life, lol.

    Paul and Tin Man... do you remember what your room number was? I'm CERTAIN I saw you AND your room when Dave Wilsford was dragging me around campus with him.

    When I was at Moe's last year (formerly The Big Bird), I asked the employees where their staircase was. (It used to lead to the Downstairs Plaza.) The opening to the staircase was cemented at the top, but the employees said the staircase is still in place in the basement... it just doesn't lead anywhere now. Moe's uses the space underneath the restaurant for storage.

    I still have 4 campus phone directories from those days. I created a virtual dorm for the Douglas 4th floor residents a few weeks ago, as well as for my hallmates on Baker 6th floor. If you give me the year, and tell me the dorm name and floor, I can tell you the names of your forgotten hall buddies.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    15 Dec 09 at 1:58 am

  24. Susan, what a blast! Those phone books can fill in some empty blanks. Chuck (the Tinman) and I lived in Douglas 304 which looked directly out at Burney. Chuck and I actually met and stayed in Burney for two nights for freshman orientation. Burney became a girls dorm Sept. '73. Our senior year was '75-'76 so you would have been a naive freshman. Your room position spared you from the nightly verbal salvos from the horny Laborde boys. Did you know another Baker girl named Carol Klein ?


    15 Dec 09 at 4:39 pm

  25. Susan - Paul is absolutely correct. Your phone book from your freshman year would really help us recreate what our few remaining brain cells cannot, and that is to remember some of our long lost comrades! Paul mentioned Carol Klein from the upper floors of Baker, and her roommate was Sandy Dew. I believe Nancy Baxter would have also lived there at that time. They would have been sophomores when you arrived. I like you lived in the towers for four straight years, actually enjoying my experience unlike many others. You obviously didn't hear my cries for help late one night during the spring of 1976 when (extremely intoxicated and after staggering back to Douglas from Dons Lounge) I tumbled into some bushes across the street from your room. When I came to, my eyes were swollen shut (some sort of an allergic reaction) and I could not see my way back to the dorm. A fellow tower resident found me and led me back to the confines of Douglas. Help us to relive, from a ladies perspective, some of the goings on in the mid-70's!


    15 Dec 09 at 6:19 pm

  26. Paul and Tinman, I should have all the Douglas 3rd floor residents in the next couple of days, barring Christmas visitors. I'm on page 172 of a 246 page project. I can send you the 21 names I have so far, but it might be best to e-mail them. Did you fellas return to Goldsboro and Wheaton when you left USC?

    aka JimmysMom at aol dot com

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    17 Dec 09 at 12:57 am

  27. I remember Carol Klein but not Sandy. And Nancy Baxter moved to Baker 6th floor her Senior year... if memory serves. Nancy sold me her USC student Nursing uniforms before she graduated. I still have them in a box somewhere.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    17 Dec 09 at 1:00 am

  28. Susan,
    I was originally from NJ and returned to the Jersey Shore after finishing my time in the Navy. I have been living in Spring Lake for the last 25 years. I will be meeting up with Carol Klein on the 27th for a Broadway play. Both she and Nancy Baxter are on Facebook.


    17 Dec 09 at 9:25 am

  29. My husband is also a Jersey boy. He attended Stockton State a couple of years before transferring to a chiropractic college in SC. He parked cars in Atlantic City between college semesters. We are headed north to see the family in a few days.

    I'm almost finished the Douglas 3rd floor list. Do you want me to send it to an e-mail address?

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    17 Dec 09 at 12:14 pm

  30. thanks Susan; curious to know how the USC phone book is organised; alphabetical or by residence hall.


    17 Dec 09 at 12:32 pm

  31. Ted - I appreciate your comments about gen-xers probably not accepting the accepted way of Towers life in the early days. I am curious when the partitions were placed in the shower area. Based on your comment, perhaps in the late 80's or early 90's. I can recall my first exposure to the open shower area as a freshman. The need for flip flops and a bathrobe soon gave way to simply a towel wrapped around the trunk. And as the weeks went by and the shower area became less threatening the silent treatment was forgotten and full blown conversations with the others showering began. I recall sometimes all 6 showers in operation. One of the shower heads, which was "mine" for three straight years was an early equivalent of a shower massage. The pressure and jets created a blasting spray that was a real eye opener. And you could stand there as long as you wanted for no extra charge. That was the good life. Although I have read many negative comments about the shower area, I recall it always being very clean and neat unless one of the residents was out of control. The bathroom in your photos above look virtually identical to the way it did in the mid-70's.

    And Ted, your recollection of the elevator is the same as mine. Being a third-floor resident, it was merely simpler to use the "unsecure" stairwell (which commonly wreaked of urine, particularly during the weekends) to reach the room.


    17 Dec 09 at 6:31 pm

  32. Paul, The phone books are organized alphabetically. Each student had 3 lines IFFF they lived on campus. You and Tinman had your names listed in bold print on the top line. The second line read Douglas 00304, followed by your USC P.O. Box Numbers. The third line held your home addresses followed by your home phone numbers. I have grown accustomed to scanning the phone books over the years. It takes 2-3 days to glean the pages from cover to cover. I helped re-connect several Douglas 4th floor residents a couple of years ago. One rascal had an unlisted phone number in MD, but his parents still lived in the same location with the same phone number. I patted myself on the back for bringing him back to the fold. :-) I'll get the dorm map off to you tomorrow after I re-draw it. (The draft copy is not my best work!)

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    18 Dec 09 at 2:07 am

  33. P.S. On the Facebook site, you can go to the University of South Carolina blog. I posted a photograph taken on the Douglas sun roof, approx. date spring '78. Baker and Douglas were having a dorm mix, and I am the only girl standing with some friends from Douglas' 4th floor.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    18 Dec 09 at 2:15 am

  34. Susan, that photo is like a time portal back to the Towers of the '70's. Those shorty short cut-off jeans were like the fashion for all us skinny white boys. Nobody had a shorter pair than the Tinman !


    18 Dec 09 at 9:31 am

  35. Although I was a Douglas man, the clip of Snowden being demolished nearly makes me sick to my stomach. As if good memories were being torn down with the building. Did anyone ever hear the rumor that delamination of the veil block from the structure was one of the reasons to do away with the towers? Also, can anyone remember the beer busts that used to be held in the closed cafeteria area between Snowden and Moore? There was one held in 1975 when an intoxicated male slipped on the beer covered floor and knocked his head against a corner of a concrete column. He laid face down,on the wet floor motionless for what seemed like a full minute before a security guard was summoned. As they pulled him up it was clear he had split his scull open - I could have sworn I was gray matter through the blood. However, when they tried to escort him out for medical attention, he shook them off claiming he wasn't going to leave the party! A true Gamecock party animal deserving of the Tin Man award. Man if you are out there, my hat is off to you!


    18 Dec 09 at 6:44 pm

  36. I, too, have been sentimental about the Honeycombs coming down. I bought several blocks from a construction worker when they were taking Moore down in 2008. Anyone can buy these blocks new from a building supply, but my old blocks are covered in decades of pollen and dust, and still smell like the Towers.

    My roommate from Spartanburg and her boyfriend (from 4th floor Douglas) dragged me to the '75 beer bust under the Tower's Lounge. I missed the fellow smashing his head, but heard about it later.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    18 Dec 09 at 7:04 pm

  37. Wow. The pictures bring back a lot of memories. The honeycombs were brand new and sparkling clean when I moved in back in the fall of '58. I lived on the second floor of either J or K. It was the dorm on the right if you faced them from Devine St. (My second semester, I moved to Preston to get away from a roommate from hell.) It's too bad that the university let them turn into a dump before they were torn down. But maybe that is the route the administration takes to get money for new dorms.


    24 Dec 09 at 4:54 pm

  38. I never heard the rumor about the delamination of the veil blocks, but I did know that some of the individual blocks could be removed. One of the girls on the 7th floor told me a couple of fellas climbed up the 7 + stories to reach the Baker sunroof. One fellow nearly fell to his death because of a loose block, and swore he'd never pull a stunt like that again.

    Sometimes when I'd go home for the weekend, my roommate would sneak in her Douglas boyfriend through the ground floor windows across from our laundry room. They opened inward, and required some acrobatic moves, but entering the basement was safer than navigating the concrete wall.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    16 Jan 10 at 10:30 pm

  39. Susan -Great recollection of the ground floor situation in Baker. During 1975-76 I would saunter over from Douglas to study in an apparently little known private room on the ground floor. Occasionally a Baker resident would come down and join me, but I almost always had it to myself. It was quiter than my dorm room and there was less commotion than the library so a great place to open the books. I would sometimes open a window to get a little fresh air. Because of the way they opened it would have been easier to get out than in, so I understand your use of "acrobatic moves" to describe the illegal entry process. But once in, up the stairwell, and let the fun begin!

    And I am glad you heard about the guy cracking open his skull at the beer bust. I have told that story many times, but few people believe it. Unfortunately most of the people attending the event were so plastered they were oblivious to the fact that there was a man down. That is the same beer bust where I witnessed a very attractive coed comment to her date how much she liked the sweater he was wearing. He responded that he had just purchased it. They immediately entered the line (which I recall was the serving line of the old cafeteria) to get a refill on beer. She was leaning on his shoulder and that is when she lost contol and barfed all over the guys new sweater. Needless to say they quickly exited the dance, but again nobody but me seemed to notice the occurence. I think the guy lived in Douglas (possibly 4th floor) and his girlfriend/date was from Spartanburg. JUST KIDDING.


    18 Jan 10 at 5:46 pm

  40. Reading this has brought back a rush of memories! I did two years' time in the Towers from 1984 to 1986; the first semester in 5th Douglas (the "Lounge" if you went up the stairwell, as was usually the case on weekends) and the remaining three in 6th LaBorde.
    I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the craziest people I have ever known, and witnessed directly or participated in some of the goofiest exploits intoxication and immaturity have ever combined to produce. Here are some experiences I share with the folks above:

    - firing a bottle rocket across the gap from LaBorde into a room in Baker (physics classes paying off in a big way) - unfortunately an RA spotted the vapor trail back to our room (can you say "housing probation?")

    - observing the creation of a shower room pool - I actually witnessed two of these; the first was in Douglas, and the second one was across the street in the Quad, and resulted in a major flood of the building in question when the particle board blocking the door became saturated and broke in the middle of the night.

    - spelling mesages with beer cans in the veilblocks (usually unrepeatable) - another fun thing to do was to save a bunch of cans, wait until the middle of the night, position the cans in the veilblocks, and then knock them all out as fast as possible. I always wondered about the poor shmoes unfortunate enough to draw a second floor room in the Towers - at least twice a week they got rousted from bed by the clattering of a hundred beer cans falling 40+ feet to land on the awning right outside their rooms.

    - More on the poor 2nd floor guys: how did they ever stand the smell? I remember a buddy of mine and myself leading our girlfriends back to our hovels and having to pull them under the awnings. When one girl asked us why, the answer came before we could even open our mouths. As they say, timing's everything.

    - Like several other daredevils, I got likkered up one night and climbed the outside of Baker just for the heck of it. Thankfully, I never hit a loose brick. That wasn't as crazy as the buddies of mine who once hid from an overzealous RA by clambering around the ledges of the South Tower, but it was definitely in the ballpark.

    - On one occasion, I happened to be coming up the stairs and saw that the cleaning staff had left a garbage bag of toilet paper in the stairwell. (Moments later, I was in my room trying to figure out where to hide the 50+ rolls that I had absconded with.) Over the next few days, I spent my spare minutes carefully measuring sixty-foot lengths of paper and attaching double-sided tape to one end of each length. Finally, late on a Friday night after much preparation and considerable beer, a friend of mine and I got out on the roof of LaBorde, attached the lengths to the top of the safety wall with the tape all around the perimeter of the building, and pushed the strands over. In minutes we had succeeded in TP'ing the dormitory on all four sides.

    There was so much more! I seriously think we could make a movie about these dorms that would be wildly successful, because the sheer number of crazy things that went on there could comfortably fill a miniseries.


    27 Jan 10 at 1:00 pm

  41. I went to Carolina for only one semester in spring 1981. Both of my older brothers graduated from USC in 82 and 83. I lived in a corner dorm in Snowden with a another hometown friend (NJ) and those rooms were a little bigger and i loved it. My oldes bro lived on 4th floore Moore. So I was sad to hear about it. I did visit the Towers in 2001 when the Cocks played the Gators that year....say what you want but they are great memories to me. JFK

    john kennedy

    31 Jan 10 at 10:35 pm

  42. The vents at the base of the doors in the 6 Honeycombs could be removed with a simple screwdriver.

    David Patterson, Moore 4th floor HA... told me a few years ago that he was late coming in one evening. He unlocked his private room and found his bed was missing. He located it the hall bathroom. It had been reassembled... box spring, mattress, bedspread, etc. on top of the BR stalls.

    Dave's 6 closet drawers were exchanged with another room's drawers... and I understand there was a fair amount of yelling until everything was put back in order.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    7 Feb 10 at 12:59 pm

  43. Yes, the vents could be unscrewed, which reminds me of one unfortunate 5th Douglas denizen who left early for the Thanksgiving holiday. As soon as he left, another fellow on the same floor went over to his door, removed the vent cover, tossed several half-pound wads of uncooked ground beef into his room, and then reinstalled the vent cover. Given the normal strength of the heating in Douglas, you can imagine what it smelled like in there when he got back.


    10 Feb 10 at 12:53 pm

  44. Hey John Kennedy, I knew your brother Ted or 'TK' as he was known. I lived in Moore 503 from fall 77 thru spring 78.
    Please contact me at so I can find out what TK is up to.
    I remember when we used to 'penny' guys in their rooms. You could take about 5 pennies and wedge them between the door and door frame and you could not open the deadbolt from the inside. Back then, beer cans had pull tabs, so you had to be very careful not to step on those on weekends. We had a toga party with a bar setup in the showers (Animal House) and invited the girls from Burney, Baker, and LaBorde (used to be a girls dorm). It was a blast..and you NEVER walked out from under the eaves of the building when outside or some guy who was pennied in might 'rain' on your party! Great times

    Mickey Eller

    11 Feb 10 at 8:04 am

  45. Ahhh, memories....

    717 LaBorde, 1980.


    13 Feb 10 at 2:23 pm

  46. What a wonderful find! I stumbled across this website yesterday quite by accident and after dreaming about my time at Carolina last night my mind is rich with recall. I was a fairly early denizen of the towers; I lived on the second floor of what at the time was Dorm L from 1965-67 and it was in pretty good shape. L was for upperclassmen and I still don't know why I wasn't assigned to the freshman dorm (H?). Even then the freshman unit was pretty beat up not to mention an absolute ZOO! How anyone kept a GPR above 1.0 in that climate, I'll never know. I hail from Pennsylvania and it was a remarkable experience at age eighteen to transition to another part of the country with such a different history and way of life. I found myself attracted to the manners and gentility. I liked using, and still do, 'hush' instead of 'shut up'. I followed the 1965-style of many of the upperclassmen and bought a new wardrobe: button down oxford cloth shirts, alpaca sweaters, tattersall woolen or loud color golfing slacks, weejun loafers, and an alligator belt with monogrammed gold belt buckle. I received a first-class education and I formed good relationships at Carolina. My freshman year roommate became a lifelong friend whose compassion and hospitality was instrumental helping me negotiate the ravages of a personal tragedy twenty-five years down the road. I was befriended by some guys who paid me the complement of taking me to into their homes over holidays like Thanksgiving which #1 spared me the angst of spending time alone in the dorm and #2 let me experience a Southern family in real time. I learned to dance the Shag and did so, I think, at a joint called Don's in five points as well as joints at what was at the time an undeveloped Myrtle Beach (don't call it the shore!). I think I had my first legal beer (twenty-one in Pennsy) at a joint called the Opus during freshman orientation. Carolina gave me my first experience with how to circumvent bureaucracy; there was a stringent cut policy and since a funeral was an acceptable excuse I think my grandmother died six times. I remember hating dorm food or at least wanting to tag along with upperclassmen so at semester break my first year I had my family doctor write a note excusing me from the food plan. Many meals at the Kollege Korner. The Hitchin' Post was within walking distance down the hill and stayed open late but the food was awful and you took your life in your hands for disease since it only had a C rating. The pool hall below the Big Bird made a great chili cheeseburger. Every once in a while we'd go to Doug Broome's on Two Notch Road. I met a drop-dead gorgeous townie there and we dated for a while. She was an absolute ten who had the amazingly exotic feature of her pupils being ovoid like a cat's. When we met she asked, “Are you from Carolina?” and looked at me like a dork when I replied, “No, I'm from Pennsylvania.” At the time I didn't realize she was asking if I attend USC. I'm surprised she took a second look since she was THAT attractive. My first semester the phone rang every morning at, like, 7AM and it just about made us psychotic until we discovered a taxi cab company offered a free, automated wake-up service and the jerks who last occupied the room failed to have it discontinued. The Vietnam War was heating up and I remember basic trainees at Fort Jackson would hang around campus on weekends trying, impossibly so, to blend in while wearing obviously brand new, never washed jeans with skinned heads and spit-shined low quarter shoes. I'm pleased to learn the University merged men's and women's housing. At the time the dorms were on opposite ends of the campus, women had a curfew and, IIRC, a dress policy of being unable to leave the dorm wearing shorts. The latter was kinda, sorta winked at by wearing a London Fog overcoat. (Susan, did that exist during your time?) It was coming into the late sixties and things like the cut policy, gender-separated housing as well as women's dress policy were emblematic of the loco parentis approach boomers found so repressive. Those were times of change and turbulence; I jettisoned button down and alligator belt, quit ROTC grew hair and adopted another uniform of tie died t-shirts and bell-bottom jeans. Using music as a metaphor, my head was ready to change the dial from Top-40 AM for FM underground rock and replace the Four Tops and the Temptations with Janis and the Doors. My veil block days ended in May of 1967 -- the Summer of Love and the Magical Mystery Tour – when I left Columbia and transferred to Ohio State. Like Bob in Tampa, I eventually found that “L” was a castle compared to the barracks, especially the old, open bay variety. There was a draft in those days and unless you scored a really good lottery number you got a new suit and name and gave Uncle Sam some time (the color was blue and name airman). At any rate I think fondly of my days in the honeycombs: the fun, the friends, and the youthful, innocent times.


    14 Feb 10 at 9:50 am

  47. Great comment David!

    In many ways it was a totally different world when I was there, less than 20 years later..


    14 Feb 10 at 2:22 pm

  48. Wow!, what a great read David, thanks for the comment.

    Michael Taylor

    14 Feb 10 at 7:00 pm

  49. When I was at Carolina, Fall '75- Fall '78, we had no dress code that I can recall. I owned several preppy tennis coordinates and shorts, but I never felt comfortable wearing them to class.

    I sang in a University-sponsored Women's Ensemble, and we performed for the SC Bar Assoc, AMA, misc conventions, and several military bases in the tri-state area. We wore deep blue halter gowns when we performed, but shorts were forbidden while representing USC out of town.

    Susan Baldwin Mayes

    18 Feb 10 at 8:50 pm

  50. The guy in the green shirt by the Douglas sign was my RA. I was in the last class to live in the Towers. It made me so sad when the tore them down.


    19 Feb 10 at 10:42 am

  51. It sounds like the really onerous restrictions were lifted soon after I left. I suspect it had a lot to do with eighteen becoming the age of majority and universities across the country abandoning loco parentis. There were no restrictions on undergraduates I could see when I started grad school at UGA in 1973. Looking back maybe the cut policy wasn't so bad. I only failed one course in college; it was an eight o'clock during a very cold Columbus, Ohio winter quarter and my attendance was, to say the least, spotty.


    21 Feb 10 at 12:48 pm

  52. i was a resident of first floor Snowden 1983-1984...had an AFROTC guy for a roomate. spent all my time on the fifth floor with my buddy Jamie watchin those sunsets that were so AWESOME. learned a lot out on that porch. shoulda gone back to see if our stoned graffitti was still under the desk in 504!

    a different Scott!

    22 Feb 10 at 10:11 pm

  53. Amazing how every Tower man, through the decades, knew to always walk under the overhang. In the Towers micro-world, "showers" were always intermittant !


    18 Mar 10 at 10:39 am

  54. Paul, you are so right. From the recollections of the first Towers occupants, to the very last, the memories of the "possibility of showers" in close proximity to the buildings on even sunniest of days or clearest of nights is a constant. What is peculiar is the strange precipitaion phenomenon was closesly linked to only the male occupied dorms. No such occurrences around Baker or Burney. It must have something to do with outside plumbing. I still can't imagine how the 2nd floor guys perservered the odor given off by the algae covered pools that collected adjacent to their veil blocks. Well the outside precipitation sure beats the inside sort, which typically occured in the dorm stairwells during the weekends. Another notable impromptu lavatory was the stairwell of the Blossom Street parking garage. After a long night at Don's Lounge or other watering hole, the walk to the Towers was obviously too far for many a student. Just a part of the Towers mystique, like the random shouting matches between LaBorde and Douglas in the middle of the night.


    29 Mar 10 at 10:01 am

  55. Actually the shouting was pretty much across all six dorms. I remember sitting out on our patio late one evening, drinking several beers and just generally chilling, trying not to be too obviously watching any rooms in Baker, when I noticed movement in one room whose patio doors were cracked open to let in the mid-spring weather.
    Some girl had brought her boyfriend in and they were definitely in the early stages. Being drunk, nineteen and bored out of my gourd, I naturually watched avidly as the couple removed about half their clothing. The young lady then lay down on her bed (mercifully they were a floor above me so I didn't see TOO much) while the boyfriend turned off the overhead light, leaving only a bedside lamp going. I couldn't see anything and I just sat back, until I saw a brassiere fly upward from where the bed was. After another few seconds, the light went out.
    I waited about five seconds, then shouted the first thing I could think of - which happened to be the first six words the devil says in "Animal House" right after he appears on Pinto's shoulder. (I won't repeat them here. If you don't know the movie, you didn't live in the Towers.) This was almost immmediately followed by several other shouts of encouragement from different points along the north side of LaBorde.
    The lamp came back on almost immediately, and the unfortunate (and highly irritated) guy popped out onto his girlfriend's patio, sans shirt, and began yelling back at us.
    This triggered a shouting match between several rooms on both sides that lasted a good ten minutes before (bad pun, sorry) petering out.


    29 Mar 10 at 11:16 am

  56. Definitely had a good "free show" goin' on there.


    29 Mar 10 at 6:18 pm

  57. The Tinman and I also savored the views from our northside Douglas room. Best shows were in the early part of the school year when innocent freshman Burney girls were unaware of Towers customs. When you saw a light go on followed by "oh my God", you knew every floor in Douglas was in on the show. Going back to October '75, it once set off a panty raid, and the Burney whores were happy to comply !


    29 Mar 10 at 6:29 pm

  58. Does anyone know how many "Towers" there were? I only see four in the pictures; were there more? I am writing a book on the architect, who also did the Thomas Cooper Library at the same time by the way.

    Hicks Stone

    29 Jul 10 at 3:03 pm

  59. Dogulas, Baker, Burney, Snowden, LaBorde & Moore


    29 Jul 10 at 3:19 pm

  60. Baker and Burney were demolished in 1996 so that the Graduate Research Center could be built.


    29 Jul 10 at 5:07 pm

  61. Hicks Stone - I wonder how many people on this blog interested in the Towers will take the time to make the connection that your father was the architect who designed the Towers (and the Thomas Cooper Library as well). What a trip! This is one of those things that fully demonstrate the power of the internet. What a life your dad must have had, boy would I have loved to chat with him about Frank Lloyd Wright and that whole Taliesen thing. Please do check back in and let us know when your book comes out.

    Michael Taylor

    29 Jul 10 at 10:54 pm

  62. Michael:

    Pretty good sleuthing. Well, let's not give dad all of the credit here (more likely the blame in fact). Actually he was approached by Columbia, SC architect G. Thomas Harmon to jointly do the building. As I understand it, Harmon's office did the interiors, including those really charming bathrooms that I see here, and dad did the "gift wrapping". It's fun to see that there are still memories strong enough (good and bad) to merit a web site.

    The book is out in the fall of 2011; that is if I get off my butt and finish the darn thing.

    Ted & Mike thanks for the information.

    Hicks Stone

    31 Jul 10 at 9:44 pm

  63. Mike

    31 Jul 10 at 9:55 pm

  64. Hicks, don't be too hard on your father or Mr. Harmon. I think most people commenting here are really taking digs at the condition of the Towers more so than the architecture. I'd be willing to bet you that the first crop of students to stay in them immediately after they were built would have a totally different memory. Probably the first time some of the country kids got to live in a building taller than one story. By the time most of the above commenters got to them, the years (and a bunch of chemically addled teenaged boys) had taken their toll and left them pretty funky. The other building your Dad designed on campus, The Thomas Cooper Library, is still going strong and standing the test of time, and as far as I know, has never been allowed to get funkified.

    Michael Taylor

    1 Aug 10 at 3:00 am

  65. I remember Baker & Burney being torn down when I was a junior at USC in 1996. At the time, I thought "Good riddance to the Honeycombs" - they were ugly eyesores to me at the time. In Fall on '96, they finally air-conditioned Maxcy and began the big building phase with theAdvocacy Center, and a few years later the new Quad dorms, all designed to fit in with the Georgian-style colleges that made up the pre-WWII campus.

    Like most people, I thought it was great at the time. Nowadays, I think it was a mistake - the real eyesores are some of the newer dorms that are a bit over-the-top in their attempt to look "traditional". Walking from Gibbes Green towards Capstone via the pedestrian-bridge over Pickens St. (built in 1974), they have completely destroyed the design of that path over the past few years. For example, the lightpoles running from the bridge all the way to the Capstone were big spherical "balls", and the view of the path cenetered around Capstone being up ahead. Now, they have replaced most of the lamp-posts with much more traditional ones, and the brutalist-style of the Humanities bldgs. and Gambrell Hall surrounding the reflecting pond have been obscured by a restaurant designed to look just like a Georgian-style college on the Horseshoe covers up that viewrselling over-priced panini that no undergrad could afford.


    1 Aug 10 at 7:18 am

  66. Does anyone have a really good photograph of the Towers, color preferably? If they do, I can give them a photo credit in the book on Stone. Send me a lo-res jpg and let's talk. Any help would be appreciated. The USC digital archives don't really have anything that's good enough.

    Thanks and regards to all,

    Hicks Stone

    Hicks Stone

    30 Aug 10 at 10:46 am

  67. Guys, I was digging in my attic today and discovered a number of photos of the Towers taken in the mid-80's. Ted, if you're interested, I'll be happy to scan and post them. A few of them are horizon shots from the roof of Douglas; the rest are either room pictures or photos of students enjoying some of the more salacious pursuits favored by the majority of that era of Towers denizens.


    24 Sep 10 at 5:59 pm

  68. @Ps, Sure, you can send them to closings at columbiaclosings dto com


    24 Sep 10 at 10:23 pm

  69. David, Great post, I was there at the same time. '65 till ...
    73' ( kept kicking me out, but I finally matured and got my degree ) Spent freshman year in H and two years in L. Had a corner room on 2nd floor. Yea, the showers were a problem but no elevator to wait on, just use the stairs!

    Dan G.

    11 Oct 10 at 2:49 pm

  70. Dan G. What years were you in L?


    23 Oct 10 at 7:40 am

  71. Wow! I stumbled upon this site and have spent the last hour reading the posts and looking at the photos. I was on the 3rd floor of Baker in 1972. It had been just made into a girls dorm and was the only one of the "Honeycombs" as we called it then that had been converted into a girl's dorm at that time - the conversion included a plywood box over the urinals and the addition of stalls around the communal showers. Our room faced out on Sumter street and was a corner room so we had an opening in the veil blocks which they put bars in so that we didn't jump out or others climb in. We did have some panty raids where guys climbed up but we poured water on them so they weren't successful. What fond memories I have of Baker and the guys we met from Moore. Hey Cy and Rick - will never forget you!!


    8 Nov 10 at 11:04 am

  72. Hey, pS, where did you end up posting thos photos of the towers that you found? Although I was a '72-'76 Douglas resident, I am still anxious to see any images of my beloved home even if they were made years after my departure.

    Terese, I appreciate your post. I, during a 1974 sneak up episode to my girlfriend's room on 5th floor and a night of tequila sunrises (so popular during the 70's), I witnessed the plywood covers over the urinals and realized I wasn't in Douglas anymore. Great memory. Regarding detering the panty raid, it couldn't have been me you doused, as I always came away with a pair - usually multiple pairs from South Tower when we raided there.


    11 Nov 10 at 6:37 pm

  73. Sorry TinMan and Paul; I have been renovating my own home and the photos are in a storage pod. I wll look for thiem this evening after I get home from work (yeah, this is what I do when I'm supposed to be working). Thanks for your patience.


    21 Dec 10 at 5:11 pm

  74. Ok, Ps, enough is enough. I haven't looked upon any images of the towers since I saw them in person just prior to demolition, and I need a fix of those beautiful monstrosities. The holidays are over, and it is now time to venture back into the attic to find those photos with which you teased us. Scan and upload for the enjoyment of your towers brothers and sisters!


    12 Jan 11 at 11:52 am

  75. Hicks Stone, did your Dad design the Ponce museum before or after "the Towers"? If you do a Google image search of the Towers, you'll come up with our 2006 Towers reunion photo, taken on the original steps that led up to Baker and Burney. Use a little imagination, and instead of the Research Center behind the group, think "veil blocks"!


    14 Jan 11 at 7:47 pm

  76. Folks, commenter Paul has sent links to his pictures of the 2006 Towers reunion -- check the update at the end of the post.

    Thanks Paul!


    15 Jan 11 at 1:15 am

  77. Paul, dad did the Museo de Arte in Ponce in 1962, he did the Towers in 1957 and the Cooper Library in 1958. The Ponce museum is a beautiful project; I think that the Cooper Library is strong too in a small, restrained way. The Tower dorms do not rank high on my list, but they are interesting for sure. I talk about all three in the book. Keith McGraw at the University has some good detail photos. I still haven't found a good overall image yet. It's not too late if anyone wants to make a few dollars. Check out the Stone web site, We're working on it.

    Hicks Stone

    1 Feb 11 at 3:58 pm

  78. Sorry tinman, I am still efforting those pictures - a month long renovation turned into six months of foundation repair, of a pod in my yard and a host of irate neighbors. I am still looking for those babies. I have a good scanner, so they will be up the same hour that they are located. Again my apologies for sluggishness. I really want to see them again too.


    6 Jun 11 at 1:57 pm

  79. Hey everyone! I was in the two "honeycombs" on the northern edge of the complex, the last being the one at the northwest corner, during the summers of 1969 & 70. My most vivid memories were of the businesses across the street, the "Big Bird" and "The Bowery", were bands were judged on how they did Black Sabbath.


    22 Jun 11 at 4:47 pm

  80. Robert,

    Don't have anything on The Bowery, but here are some Big Bird memories.


    22 Jun 11 at 4:54 pm

  81. Snowden 83-85 resident. I found this site trying to remember what the name of my Tower was. I am doing research for a book and needed the details. This took my back especially the one about The Big Bird. I forgot all about that place. I worked at the Pizza Hut across the street from Snowden. My dorm mates woud order pizzas to be be picked up and not come to pick them up so that I could bring them home to the dorm. 4th floor Snowden are you out there? Brian, Brian, Jeff and Joe. Good times!
    Jeff Laughinghouse


    26 Jul 11 at 10:11 pm

  82. That Pizza Hut was so cold, so consistently, that my room-mate and I decided they must be running some sort of experiment for the psych department on how cold it had to be before college students wouldn't tolerate it for pizza..


    26 Jul 11 at 11:35 pm

  83. Brother PsAustrinus, you have put many of your fellow towers brothers and sisters into the Pavlov's dog syndrome, whereby we are drooling of your mere mention of archived photos of the Towers. Ok you get the award for being a teaser of the first degree. Now is the time to scan and send out to vindicate yourself! It is intersting how there seem to be many memories of the Pizza Hut and the Bird, but few mentions of MLJ Pizza that was between Patrones and the Big Bird. Perhaps Mauro's (the owner) lousy attitude is one that people were anxious to forget.

    Tin Man


    28 Jul 11 at 5:14 pm

  84. Hey,Jeff, if you check back in, were you working at PH when Nemani ran the place, and Paul was the assistant manager?


    28 Jul 11 at 7:01 pm

  85. I had the pleasure of living in Snowden 509 in 01-02 and a couple times in summer school. It may have been extremely cruddy by that point but I had a blast. As a freshmen, I witness keg parties, a goat in the lobby, numerous alarm pulls and a celebration like no other when we beat Clemson and Woody Dantzler. Ahhhh memories. I wouldn't trade that time there for anything. Met my best friends in life in that building. Was very sad to see it go.


    4 Nov 11 at 8:48 pm

  86. Ditto !


    11 Nov 11 at 5:02 pm

  87. I.was in Moore 97-98 on the bottom floor (aka the pit) The have no idea what they have, but all the same.I really enjoyed it and feel a little nostalgic over the honeycombs. Great memories and Go Locks&

    Joseph W

    17 Dec 11 at 1:35 am

  88. A friend of mine heard of stories of people 'marking their territory' through the openings of the bricks of the buildings out front and there were supposedly areas you had to be careful walking through though...

    btw the mascot you mentioned in the main post is called Cocky...


    17 Dec 11 at 11:45 pm

  89. I did not attend USC but remember a few thing about the Towers. Students use to hang beach towels out of the holes. Students would place empty beer cans in the holes and try to spell out a word.
    The riots during the Vientnam War. The police tear gassed the Towers, or the tear gas went into the Towers so they closed the Towers. Columbia had a curfew at that time. The police made an announcment on the bull horns that all students go home, or back to your dorms. Some of the students yell they were from NJ, NY, Va. Ohio etc. And they they lived in the Towers, and didn't have any where to go since the Towrs were closed.


    21 Aug 12 at 5:21 am

  90. Lived in Snowden Room 104 for my entire college career from 1978-1982. Glad I got to experience life in the Honeycombs. And yes, I took the 104 plate from the door as a momento.

    Thomas E. Darnell

    10 Oct 12 at 7:22 pm

  91. I lived in J502 in 68 & 69. Got involved in an elevator fire the night the Coliseum opened in 68.We thought the towers was plush as most dorms on campus had no AC. Made it convenient for runs to the Bird and College Corner for breakfast. I guess the high points were the campus riots in spring of 70. I grew up a lot during those days. I later lived in L313 and N601. I finished my Carolina career in 72 living in tenement 20 on the Horseshoe. Now the horseshoe suites were bleak at best. No ac and poor steam heat and one phone for six rooms. I look back at my career in the honeycombs as fun and an important part of college life. Like someone else wrote most of the things in my life are slowly disappearing. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, most of my Carolina is now gone. One improvement is paved parking at Williams-Brice.

    Andy Gott Pensacola, FL

    19 Feb 16 at 12:58 am

  92. 409 LaBorde 1993/94. Good times and good memories. Looking back, so glad I ended up there, so many countless shenanigans. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

    Jerry Williams

    1 Sep 16 at 1:06 pm

  93. I lived in the Towers my Freshman year '71, Bernie? and later in Snowden '72-4. Loved going up on the roof at night to party with my friends or to be alone. I forgot how tiny the elevators were. No one was afraid then as the world was safe and free. The magic of the hippie era, going to the Joyful to buy rolling papers down beautiful Green Street. USC today is a place I don't recognize except for the Horseshoe area. Oh, yeah, peeing off the balcony


    22 Jan 18 at 7:19 pm

  94. I lived in Laborde my Freshman year, 2002-2003. (504?)(Towards the end so I really got to see what they became). I remember as a naive 18yr old I had no clue or care as to the condition of the building. My mom however was extremely depressed at my living situation. She thought I was living in a prison. That was my favorite year in a dorm. Sure it was crappy, but it was crappy for everyone. I wish I ran over when they were being torn down and grabbed a block of the wall.

    Dan M

    15 Feb 18 at 10:08 pm

  95. Been away from campus a long time. Couldn't find the Towers of course, so thanks for putting this site online. Lived in Douglas '73-'77. Happy times :)


    27 Dec 18 at 11:17 am

  96. Wow...memory lane! I stayed in the Towers my entire Carolina career, '70-'71 in Burney J and the rest in LaBorde, 7th floor. I saw the picture of The Bird in 1980, where you say Moe's is now. The Bird must have moved, because to my recollection, the Bird was to the right of that building (at least in 'the early seventies). The place where Moe's is (was?) was a bar that went downstairs; this was not the Bird. ( This was '70-'74.) To the far right of the Bird was a laundromat (the very corner of the complex). At the edge of the laundromat, one could travel down a very steep hill on the way to see John Roche and the best men's basketball team to ever grace Columbia ('70-'71). About 50 feet down the hill on the left was The Varsity, a spacious room full of pool tables. There was a bar on the near wall that served a mighty delicious cheeseburger. The Bird itself was a home away from home. I can't count the number of cheeseburger baskets I got from that place; they had good fried chicken, as well. On Sundays, as soon as they opened, I would arrive. Then, they served a buffet, which was on the right wall, whereupon I would always order a great hamburger steak with grilled onions , served by a gruff man in his 50's named Joe. Across from the buffet, on the left as you enter the establishment, was a seating area separated from the rest by a black iron fence. On Friday and Saturday nights, it was munchie time. A cheeseburger basket was in order; the fast food area was on the right was further in the back . It seems the entire time I was there, it was manned by Chinese students, who worked there as cooks. I loved the honeycombs, and was saddened to see them demolished.

    Ed C

    23 Jun 19 at 4:16 pm

  97. Nice memories Ed C


    23 Jun 19 at 5:50 pm

  98. @ted
    My dad lived here from 1978-1982. Could it be that y’all crossed paths at some point?


    6 Sep 19 at 4:44 pm

  99. Could well be!


    8 Sep 19 at 10:06 pm

  100. I was 704 Laborde 1980 and 81. The place was zoo but lots of fun. They used to give us a little care package at the beginning of the semester. It had aerosol shaving cream and aerosol deodorant. We would pull of the nozzle form the shaving cream and replace it with the deodorant nozzle. You could shoot shaving cream about 10 feet. We would take our shaving cream weapon and raid 5th floor Snowden, running wild and spraying anyone with an open door! Was a blast! We also did the swimming pool in the shower. Got busted for it as someone leak the Polaroids to the hall monitor. One night we were in my room playing the board game Passout. We were drunk and had just burned one when the campus police came to our floor. They smelled weed and proceed to take our IDs and write a report. They asked my buddy Jeff “What color are your eyes?” for the report... he said “RED”, lol! Lots of good memories! But I am sure it was past time to level that place!


    13 Sep 19 at 6:58 pm

  101. What was the name of the bar/burger joint next to the 7-11 across the street? Had a clever name with the word Chicken in it I think. Like Red Chicken or Tasty Chik or something. (I stayed at Moore in the Towers. Pictures of that honeycomb gave me STRONG memories!) Email me if you know the name of that place, it's driving me crazy!


    19 Jan 20 at 10:50 pm

  102. That would be The Big Bird.


    19 Jan 20 at 11:14 pm

  103. That was my drawings on the outside wall in this post! So funny

    Michael Bays

    8 Jul 20 at 2:11 pm

  104. Wow, what are the odds!?


    8 Jul 20 at 6:10 pm

  105. I was stuck in LaBorde 74-75. Mr room had a view towards the river, was sort of like looking out at freedom from a prison. The place cleared out on weekends, and was so dumpy I can see why people went greek. The communual showers, no laundromat, no study areas, the list goes on. Partied heartily, and after a year moved on to another school with better accomodations


    22 Sep 20 at 2:04 pm

  106. Wow. Just stumbled upon this in 2021. Great memories. I was in Douglas 1980-81 and was the president of the dorm my sophomore year. After that, I moved to Maxcy, which wasn't in such great repair itself. But I liked being close to the Horseshoe.

    I thought one the greatest achievements of my life was hosting a party on our roof with the girls from the dorm across the way. I think that was Baker but can't recall. We were given a small discretionary fund and I used the bulk of it on that party.

    The Towers were already well past their prime in the early '80s. And man -- the stink in that place by Sunday night / Monday morning! Pizza, vomit, stale beer, liquor and weed. It never occurred to me to be bothered much by it. I was just thrilled to be there.


    19 May 21 at 1:19 am

  107. I was on 6th floor of Moore in 92-93. What a dump! The palmetto bugs and bed bugs had taken over the place. One of my fondest memories was the week they turned up the boiler too much. The hot water was scalding hot, which gave us an idea. SAUNA! So we closed the doors, covered the empty window openings in them, and turned the showers on full blast hot. Filled with steam, we enjoyed the sauna several evenings before they turned the boiler down. You know what happens when you steam a crappy paint job? Lol! The paint started peeling off in sheets.


    18 Jun 21 at 1:24 am

  108. Just found this. What great memories from 1967-68 when
    There were 6 Honeycombs lettered J K L M N. No clue why they started down in the middle of the alphabet. Pleased that many of those who followed my era continued the traditions of beer can spelling and tossing as well as bottle rockets. My era also had a late night tradition in the spring with the doors open of starting jungle calls..someone would start with a bird, then some sort of primate would start, following by an elephant or two, a lion would chime in and it would end with a tarzan yell. I lived in J711. The first 5 floors were the athletes dorms. There was no roost back then. Somehow I pulled a 3.4 out 4.0 my freshman year. Great times, wonderful memories

    Lark Jones

    21 Aug 21 at 12:13 pm

  109. Lived in Snowden 86 and 87 cannot remember what floor. Roomate was Brett. The place was a total dump. I was a transfer student and it seemed most of the kids were freshman and so immature. I worked 5 shifts a week at AJs on Devine as a waiter so i had limited time for partying. Have great memories of Parthenon Pizza in 5 points, Group Therapy and Rockafellas. After graduation I moved to Sullivan's Island then to Maui 6 months later. That was 33 years ago. Great memories and all because I chased a wonderful girl Kim Killian who attended USC. Anyone remember seeing Hootie and the Blowfish play in the food area? Little did we know. Haha

    Patrick Nugent

    21 Aug 21 at 3:51 pm

  110. I lived on 5th floor MOORE dorm ca 1982-84.. our resident singer on the floor was Darius Rucker. He sang every morning in our communal shower. !!! Lots of memories, some good, some not so good, like guys peeing off the balconies or the beer smells in the halls after a weekend. All in all i enjoyed my time in the honeycombs. lots of memories


    4 Aug 22 at 11:56 am

  111. Reminds me of many late night friend chicken at the Big Bird and dollar pitchers of beer at DSP.


    10 Nov 22 at 4:51 pm

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