Architect. Christopher G. Sayre made a career out of designing public buildings throughout the Carolinas during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Born in Mount Pleasant, he graduated with a degree in civil engineering from South Carolina College in 1897. He spent the next several years working on surveying and engineering projects across the upstate. In 1908 Sayre established an architectural practice in Anderson with James J. Baldwin. The firm’s designs included commercial buildings, numerous residences, and schools in small communities throughout the state. By about 1915 the towns of North, St. George, Central, Chester, Woodruff, Holly Hill, Dillon, and Latta all had schools designed by Sayre & Baldwin. Ultimately more than twenty schools in South Carolina were designed by Sayre & Baldwin or independently by Sayre.
As their business expanded, Sayre & Baldwin opened an office in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1914, but Baldwin left the following year to establish an independent practice. Sayre continued to pursue work in the Carolinas and Georgia. After about 1918 he worked almost exclusively in North Carolina. Sayre’s most important independent projects in South Carolina include the Bamberg City Hall (1908–1909), the Saluda County Courthouse (1917), the First Baptist Church in Abbeville (1911), and the Washington Street Baptist Church (1913) in Sumter.
Wells, John E., and Robert E. Dalton. The South Carolina Architects, 1885–1935: A Biographical Directory. Richmond, Va.: New South Architectural Press, 1992.