Take a walk back in time this afternoon.
Historic Columbia offers its Second Sunday Stroll through University Hill, an area on the fringes of the University of South Carolina campus that has been the home to Columbians for more than 130 years.
“The University Hill neighborhood tour is one of many of Historic Columbia ‘s neighborhood walking tours,” said John Sherrer, director of cultural resources for Historic Columbia.
“We explore the social and physical evolution of University Hill.”
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The neighborhood was established between 1885 and 1950. As one of the oldest residential communities in Columbia, University Hill continues to be shaped and defined by urban renewal and USC’s eastward expansion.
It’s bounded by Sumter, Gervais, Laurens and Blossom Streets. It has a mix of architectural styles and designs by prominent regional and local architects.
University Hill was listed as a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The tour will begin at 2 p.m. at the Inn at USC, 1619 Pendleton St. The hotel actually is part of the area’s history.
The Black House, built in 1910, was restored and became the lobby of the Inn at USC when the hotel was built in 2005. USC seized control of the Black House in 1974 with plans to build a parking lot. That never happened. When plans were announced to build a hotel on the site and raze the house, preservationists blocked demolition. Plans were then made to incorporate the house into the hotel.
“It really proved we can integrate historical structures into new and vital buildings,” Sherrer says.
And it makes a good starting point for the neighborhood tour.
“We will be speaking about people, places and events that have made the neighborhood what it is,” Sherrer said.
Tickets are $8 for adults (free for Historic Columbia members) and $5 for children over 5 years old.
Those interested in taking the strolling tour can register at www.historiccolumbia.org. Walk-ups are welcome as space allows. Tours last 60-90 minutes.
Lezlie Patterson, Special to The State