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Landmark Main Street building being demolished

Watch as historic Columbia building is torn down

The long-time House of Fabrics building on Columbia's Main Street is being demolished. The structure has been vacant since 2017. Workers from Corley Construction are meticulously taking down the building just yards away from the Meridian Building.
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The long-time House of Fabrics building on Columbia's Main Street is being demolished. The structure has been vacant since 2017. Workers from Corley Construction are meticulously taking down the building just yards away from the Meridian Building.

Workers Monday began demolishing the House of Fabrics building, which has been a fixture at 1312 Main St. in Columbia since shortly after the Civil War.

House of Fabrics, which operated in the building for 60 years, relocated to 652 Bush River Road in November 2017. Juanita’s Design, which also was in the building, relocated a block away to Washington Street .

Matt Kennell, president and CEO of City Center Partnership, which encourages and guides investment in the central business district, said the owners, the Willoughby family, plan to rebuild, “but I don’t know what” will go there.

Kennell said he would like to see retail, a restaurant or a grocery, “something that would generate street level activity.”

The owners could not be reached for comment.

John Sherrer, director of cultural resources for Historic Columbia, said that the building could have told a story of Main Street through the years, as it had undergone many iterations and styles.

“But that building was unfortunately physically compromised,” he said. “It was in pretty bad shape, and had been for some time.”

The building has been deemed unsafe.

Lou and Hazel Kaplan opened House of Fabrics — known then as Chez Fabrique — in 1957 at 1709 Main St. in downtown Columbia, which is now the site of the Richland County Courthouse. Kaplan moved the business to 1312 Main St. after he purchased the building, where House of Fabrics remained from 1982 until 2017.

The store is now owned by Lori Brown, the Kaplans’ granddaughter.

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