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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • A historic painting showing the early Horseshoe pictures McCutchen House, then a faculty residence, along with other buildings of the newly established university.

History of the McCutchen House

One of the original buildings erected on the university’s Horseshoe, the McCutchen House was built in 1813 as the second faculty residence on the South Carolina College campus.

The House as a Home

Maximilian LaBorde

Maximilian LaBorde, chairman of the faculty of South Carolina College, 1861-1865, lived in the house from 1842 to 1873. A small out-building was erected on the premises especially for professor LaBorde, who found the size of the residence “uncomfortable” for his family of 10 children.

George McCutchen

Professor George McCutchen, for whom the building is named, lived in the house with his family from 1915 until World War II. McCutchen was a professor at USC for 48 years, and his career highlights many of the evolutionary phases of the university in the 20th century.


Evidence of slave quarters was found on the third floor during renovations in the 1970’s. A University deed dated 1813 was discovered for a slave named Jack. In 1808, the board of trustees arranged for one slave to work exclusively for the college at the rate of $100 per year. Several years later, the board enlisted Jack to work in this capacity, and he served as a laboratory assistant in the chemistry department.

Restorations and Renovations

First restorations to the house began in the spring of 1855. Although the names of the original contractor and builder went unrecorded, Clark Waring and a man named Johnson supervised extensive repairs in 1856.

Extensively renovated in the 1970s, the building housed a private dining club for faculty and administrative staff for many years. The house was formally dedicated in 1977 to the honor of George McCutchen.

Lila McCutchen

As a little girl, Lila McCutchen played on the Horseshoe, listened to her grandfather, George, share wisdom with students in his on-campus home, and sat on the knee of the president of the University of South Carolina. As a young woman, she became the first female student in the USC engineering school. As an adult, she is a respected leader who has succeeded as a writer and editor and as a politician who has helped shape the future of higher education in her community. Read more about Lila McCutchen.

McCutchen House Today

Today, the McCutchen House is open to the public and is operated by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Under the close supervision of the director and professional chefs, hospitality management students learn restaurant management  skills through the preparation and service of a bistro lunch, which is open to the public during the fall and spring semesters. The McCutchen House also offers services for private or professional events.

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