May is National Preservation Month, so we asked Historic Columbia to share 10 of their favorite examples of preservation from the capital city. Most have been recognized through the years with preservation awards. The history of each is provided by Historic Columbia.
The Bakery at BullStreet
The bakery building was built in 1900 to accommodate South Carolina State Hospital’s growing population. Occupational therapy, a new form of treatment in the 20th century, suggested the implementation of a daily routine would allow for accelerated healing. Working in the bakery provided patients with such a routine.
Chappelle Auditorium at Allen University
Chappelle Auditorium was designed by one of the nation’s first African-American architects, John Lankford, also known as “the Dean of Black Architects.” Begun in 1922 and completed in 1925, the structure hosted many important gatherings, including preparatory meetings for the Brown vs. Board of Education trial as well as scores of notable people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Duke Ellington. In 2009, Allen University began an extensive rehabilitation to return the structure to its original magnificence.
Dozier House on Henderson
A handsome two-story residence, 1931 Henderson St. is on a block historically known for its prominent African-American residents. Purchased in 1909 by William Joseph Sumter, the structure was recently restored by owners John and Victoria Dozier, the family’s sixth generation to occupy the home.
Woodrow Wilson Family Home
The Woodrow Wilson Family Home was the first local grassroots preservation effort when, in 1928 it was slated for demolition so that the Township Auditorium could be erected on the site. Saved from the wrecking ball, this former residence associated with the 28th U.S. president began operating as a house museum in 1933. Closed in 2005 due to structural issues, the circa-1871 building underwent a multiphase, comprehensive rehabilitation and reopened to the public as a Museum of Reconstruction in 2014.
From grocery store to saloon, billiard hall to boarding house, this circa-1870 commercial building housed these and many other businesses for nearly a century and a half. Today, the Brennen Building accommodates Bourbon, Blue Flour and First Citizens Wealth Management Services.
With the oldest section of this four-story warehouse dating to 1917, the Palmetto Compress Warehouse stands as a testament to early 20th century warehouse design. At its peak, the facility could store more than 50,000 bales of cotton. Thanks to a grassroots preservation effort that included supporters across the community and a commitment from the City of Columbia, today the building operates as high-end apartments and retail space.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral stands as a fine example of preservation and new construction in an historic context. In anticipation of its 200th anniversary, Trinity Parish embarked on a capital improvement project at the site. When completed in 2010, the result (made possible through the dedication of skilled craftsmen) led to a state-of-the-art restoration of this circa-1846 National Register of Historic Places-listed site.
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum is housed in the historic Columbia Mills Building, the first electric-powered mill in the nation, which produced textiles between 1894 and1981. Today, the museum houses four floors of changing and permanent exhibits, an observatory, a planetarium and 4-D theater. The State Museum was an early tax credit project in Columbia and was a key driver of the Vista renaissance.
The building at 701 Whaley Street stood for decades as a community center for the Olympia and Granby Mill village. By 2000, the structure was vacated and left in disrepair. In 2009, the property received extensive restoration of the interior and the façade and today operates as a thriving event rental space and houses business and an art gallery.
Located in the Melrose Heights neighborhood on Shirley Street, this circa-1919 National Register of Historic Places-listed residence features a low-pitched, hipped roof with broad overhanging eaves and elongated one-over-one windows. This architectural landmark is the city’s purest representation of the early Prairie Style of architecture, which enjoyed greater success in other parts of the country when introduced in the 1910s.