Names have been chosen for the streets bordering the baseball stadium that will anchor the Bull Street neighborhood redevelopment project in downtown Columbia.
The project’s developer plans to name them Freed, Boyce and Saunders streets, according to plans before Columbia’s Planning Commission. Gregg and Barnwell streets will be extended onto the project site, and a short street connecting to two has not yet been named, according to the plans.
Hughes Development of Greenville is developing the 165-acre project, which is expected to add thousands of new homes, stores and offices to the former S.C. State Hospital campus that long served the mentally ill. Work began in January on the 8,000-seat, $37 million minor league baseball stadium that will anchor the project.
Freed Street already existed on the site and will remain in roughly the same place, said Robert Hughes III, the site’s project director.
The process for naming Boyce and Saunders streets entailed making a list of about 50 important people who were involved with the Bull Street site, including former doctors and superintendents, and other historic buildings statewide, and asking Richland County E-911 which ones were available to use as street names in the city, Hughes said.
Richland County E-911 whittled down that list, and Boyce and Saunders were chosen from the remaining names, Hughes said. Hughes said he was speaking while driving and could not recall the history of the two names.
“It’s more of a nod to the history of the state and of the site than anything else,” Hughes said. “It was definitely fun.”
Saunders Street could be a nod to Eleanora Saunders, who was an assistant physician to James Woods Babcock, who was superintendent of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum from 1891 until 1914. Saunders is thought to be the first woman to graduate at the top of her class from the then-South Carolina Medical College in Charleston.
There also was a building named Saunders on the hospital’s campus.
City planning staff has recommended the commission approve the request when it meets on Monday. The proposed names have received approval from Richland County E-911 Addressing, the panel’s agenda documents show.