±

Columbia Buildings That Could Be Cool

93 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I thought this might make an interesting thread. We can talk about specific vacant/run-down buildings in various areas of Columbia and what we think would be cool to see happen to them. I'll go first...

cu_fire_bandw_h.gif

The old fire department headquarters in the Vista could be really cool -- I know a few years ago there was some talk about tearing it down. That'd be a huge mistake. The style of the building is really cool and modern.

Reuse Idea: Small Open-Air Market + Shops: A partially open-air market would be cool in The Vista. With residential starting to really take off down there, I think the area would support it. The building could be restored and the fire truck bays left open to house vendors -- produce, art, other wares. Colorful booths would spill out on to the sidewalk. Upstairs could be residential or offices -- I'd like residential. I can't come up with any creative ideas for the tower, though. :)

It's just down the street from the new Convention Center and the future home of the Hilton.

Edited by emerging.me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Posted

This thread is a good idea! :)

I like your suggestion for the old firehouse. I think they could do something cool with the watch tower too. I have no idea what though. maybe some sort of observaiton deck?

I would like to see the Heart of Columbia Motel area converted into a mixed-use residential midrise with commercial shops along the base.

Another thing that needs to change is the old Burger King on College St. What an eyesore. I would rather it be a surface lot than what it is now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

This really is a great idea for a thread. When the State Hospital moves from Bull Street and the land is redeveloped, the large building with the dome should become a luxury hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I dunno.... more hotels? :)

I agree that there needs to be something that the public can access in there. That is such a cool dome. I remember when I was little that I thought that was the capitol for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I dunno.... more hotels? :)

I agree that there needs to be something that the public can access in there. That is such a cool dome. I remember when I was little that I thought that was the capitol for some reason.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I used to think it was the capital, also. I said hotel so that the building would be accessible. I'd like to see the inside. I searched online for a picture, but didn't find one. I guess I'll have to break out the camera again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I used to think it was the capital, also. I said hotel so that the building would be accessible. I'd like to see the inside. I searched online for a picture, but didn't find one. I guess I'll have to break out the camera again.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is this the building?

original12.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thought this might make an interesting thread. We can talk about specific vacant/run-down buildings in various areas of Columbia and what we think would be cool to see happen to them. I'll go first...

cu_fire_bandw_h.gif

The old fire department headquarters in the Vista could be really cool -- I know a few years ago there was some talk about tearing it down. That'd be a huge mistake. The style of the building is really cool and modern.

Reuse Idea: Small Open-Air Market + Shops: A partially open-air market would be cool in The Vista.  With residential starting to really take off down there, I think the area would support it.  The building could be restored and the fire truck bays left open to house vendors -- produce, art, other wares.  Colorful booths would spill out on to the sidewalk.  Upstairs could be residential or offices -- I'd like residential.  I can't come up with any creative ideas for the tower, though. :)

It's just down the street from the new Convention Center and the future home of the Hilton.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From what I understand, this building was built on top of an old landfill. It cannot be occupied because of structural deficiencies resulting from settling. Had it not been municipally-owned, it would have been condemn and vacated years earlier than it was.

It is getting to be an eyesore. If it cannot be made stable, it should be torn down and turned into a gravel parking lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Is this the building?

original12.jpg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That building is also on the State Hospital grounds, but it's not the one we were referring to. I'll try to get a picture of it this week. The building you posted is almost hidden now. A 4 story ugly state office building was built in front of it. I wonder who's bright idea that was?

Edited by waccamatt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

From what I understand, this building was built on top of an old landfill.  It cannot be occupied because of structural deficiencies resulting from settling.  Had it not been municipally-owned, it would have been condemn and vacated years earlier than it was. 

It is getting to be an eyesore.  If it cannot be made stable, it should be torn down and turned into a gravel parking lot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Or some sort of park/ parking lot. I can't recall exactly how it is placed, but it coulf be used as an open air market or a part of some out door seating for places that aren't condemned.

That building is also on the State Hospital grounds, but it's not the one we were referring to. I'll try to get a picture of it this week. The building you posted is almost hidden now. A 4 story ugly state office building was built in front of it. I wonder who's bright idea that was?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thats what I thought we were tlaking about. Aren't we talking about the one with the dome you can see from Elmwood?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thats what I thought we were tlaking about. Aren't we talking about the one with the dome you can see from Elmwood?

That's right, Spartan. I'm in Atlanta for the SEC Tournament right now, but I'll take a picture of it next week and post it. It is potentially one of the nicest buildings in Columbia, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

From what I understand, this building was built on top of an old landfill.  It cannot be occupied because of structural deficiencies resulting from settling.  Had it not been municipally-owned, it would have been condemn and vacated years earlier than it was. 

It is getting to be an eyesore.  If it cannot be made stable, it should be torn down and turned into a gravel parking lot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think anything is better than a parking lot. I dropped Historic Columbia a line asking about the stability/landfill issue and got this reply from John Sherrer today...

Mr. Linder --

My apologies for not responding sooner but I wanted to make sure that I had exhausted all of my research leads before answering your inquiry.  I could find no mention of a landfill in that area to prevent the building's occupation.

Many thanks for your interest,

John Sherrer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for getting that info!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thought this might make an interesting thread. We can talk about specific vacant/run-down buildings in various areas of Columbia and what we think would be cool to see happen to them. I'll go first...

cu_fire_bandw_h.gif

The old fire department headquarters in the Vista could be really cool -- I know a few years ago there was some talk about tearing it down. That'd be a huge mistake. The style of the building is really cool and modern.

Reuse Idea: Small Open-Air Market + Shops: A partially open-air market would be cool in The Vista. With residential starting to really take off down there, I think the area would support it. The building could be restored and the fire truck bays left open to house vendors -- produce, art, other wares. Colorful booths would spill out on to the sidewalk. Upstairs could be residential or offices -- I'd like residential. I can't come up with any creative ideas for the tower, though. :)

It's just down the street from the new Convention Center and the future home of the Hilton.

This is a neat thread that hasn't been discussed in quite some time. Anyone have some cool ideas? I still think the arcade building should be the #1 target for redevelopment. That building is awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thought this might make an interesting thread. We can talk about specific vacant/run-down buildings in various areas of Columbia and what we think would be cool to see happen to them. I'll go first...

cu_fire_bandw_h.gif

The old fire department headquarters in the Vista could be really cool -- I know a few years ago there was some talk about tearing it down. That'd be a huge mistake. The style of the building is really cool and modern.

Reuse Idea: Small Open-Air Market + Shops: A partially open-air market would be cool in The Vista. With residential starting to really take off down there, I think the area would support it. The building could be restored and the fire truck bays left open to house vendors -- produce, art, other wares. Colorful booths would spill out on to the sidewalk. Upstairs could be residential or offices -- I'd like residential. I can't come up with any creative ideas for the tower, though. :)

It's just down the street from the new Convention Center and the future home of the Hilton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Blue Sky should make the tower next to the old fire station into a miniature skyscraper. No pun intended. He could put windows in it and add some other touches to it to make it a monument to Columbia's highrise index. It would kind of make a statement with its own height that height restrictions are observed in the Vista, but that the skyscraper is one one of Columbia's trademarks compared to, say Charleston or Savannah. It could be semi-cartoon-like - (not sure that's the right word) - cute, but not tacky. I have racked my brain and that is all I can come up with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Reviving an old thread here... can't believe I overlooked this one. I LOVE THAT BUILDING! I can't pass it without thinking of its potential. Does anyone have any recent pics with the new streetscaping? Otherwise I'll try and take some tomorrow.

Anyone game for brainstorming more about it?

Those garage doors could be replaced with all-glass garage doors for a good connection indoors/outdoors. An indoor/outdoor food oriented market with small booths with specialty products. I'm not too keen on a crafts oriented market - a) because it's more geared towards tourists and there aren't enough in Cola and b) it is less desirable for locals as a place to come to regularly. Although something artistic would be welcome. Some performance art happenings or secondary exhibitions maybe.

Emergingme, it's funny you mentioned open air market, because independently of reuse of this particular building, I've been thinking that a farmers market is something sorely missing in Cola. The big official farmers market is so out of the way and intimidating and unwelcoming for the ordinary person. Somewhere centrally downtown, it would be so great to have a market somewhat modelled after NY's Union Square. A place where you can buy sought-after produce (other stuff than you can get at supermarkets, for example zuchini flowers, heirloom tomatoes), artisanal breads and cheeses, local honey, baked goods, potted herbs, cut flowers, local specialties, home cured ham, spices, fresh shrimp, chocolate truffles, cooking utensils, juice bar, wine, sushi bar... you name it. A place where a small-time vendor can get a booth or set up a stand on a non-permanent basis.

I lived for a few years in France, and a huge pleasure was to go to the local market even if I didn't need to buy anything. Just to sit at an open-air caf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I thought this might make an interesting thread. We can talk about specific vacant/run-down buildings in various areas of Columbia and what we think would be cool to see happen to them. I'll go first...

cu_fire_bandw_h.gif

The old fire department headquarters in the Vista could be really cool -- I know a few years ago there was some talk about tearing it down. That'd be a huge mistake. The style of the building is really cool and modern.

Reuse Idea: Small Open-Air Market + Shops: A partially open-air market would be cool in The Vista. With residential starting to really take off down there, I think the area would support it. The building could be restored and the fire truck bays left open to house vendors -- produce, art, other wares. Colorful booths would spill out on to the sidewalk. Upstairs could be residential or offices -- I'd like residential. I can't come up with any creative ideas for the tower, though. :)

It's just down the street from the new Convention Center and the future home of the Hilton.

I think the old main fire station would make a cool discotheque called........."The firehouse"! :)

One other thing, has anyone noticed how OLD that picture is? The Wade Hampton Hotel is in the background and look at the lone car on the street. That picture must have been taken when the building was new. Also, I think the old training building (the one someone wanted Blue Sky to paint) has been torn down.

Edited by waccamatt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think the old main fire station would make a cool discotheque called........."The firehouse"! :)

One other thing, has anyone noticed how OLD that picture is? The Wade Hampton Hotel is in the background and look at the lone car on the street. That picture must have been taken when the building was new. Also, I think the old training building (the one someone wanted Blue Sky to paint) has been torn down.

What is a discotheque? Just kidding.

The building could be renovated into a nice upscale club though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Well everyone, this was kind of weird, I just finished reading over this thread and cut on Headlines News. The first thing they announced (on the little Columbia bit) was that the firestation is up for sale. Everyone could get there wish for a something moving in soon...(and by soon I mean the next few years)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

That IS weird.

That building is so cool. I'd kill to be able to put my own mid-century modern aesthetics into it...

It doesn't get too great a rap from Historic Columbia Foundation, though:

http://www.historiccolumbia.org/preservation/cu_fire.html

These pics are from today:

DSC02488.jpg

Here's the white wall that begs for a mural:

DSC02472.jpg

courtyard:

DSC02473.jpg

And the drill tower that also could use Blue Sky's humor to be turned into an over sized sculpture: (view from Gervais)

DSC02466.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I wonder what made me think the drill tower had been torn down. You're right, that wall definitely needs a Blue Sky mural. I can't believe he moved to LA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I wonder what made me think the drill tower had been torn down. You're right, that wall definitely needs a Blue Sky mural. I can't believe he moved to LA.

It could be the Vista's only "skyscraper" because both the dimensions and the height (for the Vista) are right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The view must be pretty nice up there. I'd say just keep it as an open-to-the-public spot to take in the view. Yes, by all means, paint a million windows on that blank wall!

And maybe continue the idea with a distant skyline painted on the white wall that can be seen in the background when you are in front of the tower.

BTW, I'm thinking less in terms of food market for the firestation building now - maybe something more arts oriented (performance arts, visual arts - not crafts). But definitely an outdoor caf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hey All,

You have only mentioned the old fire station, the former Mental Hospital, and the Arcade--all good, but can't we think of any else? There are SO many . . . here are two off the top of my head:

1) The humongous warehouse between Blossom and Devine Streets, near Huger and the railroad tracks (not sure of its correct name) has the greatest potential for the most amazing re-development in the city, IMO. That building ROCKS! Imagine it with all those things we mentioned before-a fresh market, cafes, discotheques-even with these, there would STILL be plenty of room to spare! USC is marching downhill, and must not be allowed to tear down yet another cool old warehouse. Columbia has a few left along Huger, but these will probably see the wrecking ball over the years as Innovista happens. That would be a major loss-every city needs an artsy warehouse district. (Poor One-eared Cow has tried to start a trend for years, to no avail.) But of all warehouses, the MEGA one I describe above is by far the most significant. Does anyone know its status? Its protection should be our greatest preservation concern in Columbia, IMHO.

2) The large storefront in Olympia (the only row) would make a GREAT line of shops and restaurants (or nightclub or two.) Olympia's population is about to boom even more once the second mill is ready--those folks need something to do that they can walk to, not to mention those of us who would drive in to another cool rehabbed area for food and fun. What is the status on this important row-does anyone know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think the warehouse you're referring to is the big one that's prominent from the Blossom Street bridge? I forget the name of it, but I think I know what you're talking about. Your suggestion would definitely be cool.

The great thing about Columbia is that a lot of buildings that could be cool through adaptive reuse already are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

±