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Everything posted by digital_sandlapper

  1. To me, downtown is Main, plus the other streets creating the grid around the Statehouse, the Horseshoe, and The Vista. I would definitely not include Five Points though. I would never say "I'm going downtown" then head to Five Points. It is it's own unique destination to me. Plus, it is separated from downtown by residential streets, and so isn't contiguous. Perhaps for those who live in NE or Irmo, Five Points would be "downtown". There are plenty of shopping clusters around Columbia, of course, and downtown is just one of them. It definitely needs more retail, along Main and the other streets Growing Up mentioned, and so I don't think he's off the mark at all. The Vista is mostly entertainment, with a few stores (mostly galleries and gift shops) not usually open very late. By contrast, Mast General Store will be just that--general merchandise--and will be open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays--injecting a much-needed shot in the arm to Main Street's night time scene. On the subject of old department stores, wasn't there a J.B. White's downtown? Macy's was originally Davison's, a division of Macy's from Atlanta. White's, Belk, and Davison's had been here for ages. Being centered between those department store headquarter cities: Belk's of Charlotte, J.B. White of Augusta, and Davison's of Atlanta probably helped our stores serve as flagship stores initially, that eventually abandoned downtown like they all did.
  2. This is hard to believe--that picture of bumper-to-bumper traffic wasn't the smartest one to include. Anyone who knows the area realizes the picture doesn't lie, and that's what it will be like most of the time. Not sure if they will have many takers for "townhomes" facing that extremely busy intersection. It's not exactly a residential street. How many people can say they live in the same building as a grocery store? Or that they pull into a Publix parking lot to park when home? I wouldn't want the unit right next to it--I'd be fearful of vermin and noise. This development is a curiosity to say the least! A stand-up comic could have a field day with this . . lol.
  3. Will the building have the name Wells Fargo after the reno? Seems they are advertising on TV now here, and phasing out the Wachovia name in the ad. I'm eager to see the conversion. Surely they wouldn't put a huge new "Wachovia" sign only to be taken down soon for Wells Fargo, would they? I've always disliked the odd "Wachovia" name (used to call it "Wach-ova-ya"), and Wells Fargo is such a storied old name--looking forward to seeing that name instead! I agree as well, CorgiMatt. I like the plaza--we need more, IMO, in downtown Cola. Very urban in feel, despite the cut-through and lawn. Also, the tree lawns are fine--that's pretty standard.
  4. WOW! Very cool architecture! Wonder how that got by the Vista design gurus? Glad they are allowing it, and hope this is a sign of things to come all over Columbia--we need more modern design in our new buildings!
  5. Brasil, you are so right. Come to think of it, Huger has NO sidewalks except near the Blossom St. intersection, does it? Huger is in dire need of streetscaping--maybe all this new development will spur that. I also noticed recently that the once beautiful cypress trees planted along Huger have been butchered over the years by the dang power company on the western side of the street. Those will have to be replaced one day, then of course will not match the maturity of those across the street. On that note--do you think Huger would ever get re-graded to eliminate the dangerous hill that peaks at the credit union? Even if there were room for a center turn lane, that's quite a treacherous spot. A right turn out of the parking lot is hard, much less trying to turn left--forget about it!
  6. Mast General Store? I'm praying it goes through . . it would truly be transformational for Main Street. Their stores are like stepping back in time. So many cool products long forgotten are there--high quality, no-nonsense, and for the most part, natural/organic/green. A wonderful place for gifts, too. It will be PACKED with shoppers, especially at first. This is just what Main Street needs, of course: foot traffic. We need to all cross our fingers on this one!
  7. This IS fabulous news and our best hope yet for Main Street FINALLY becoming an alive and happening place in the evening! Woo-hoo!
  8. You can say that again! Oh well . . .
  9. Aspyre is a vast improvement to what was there before (nothing). Now if they could only develop that kudzu/weedpatch next to the old stadium!
  10. Spartan, what ratty old park do you refer to in West Columbia?
  11. I've noticed recently that MUSC may have actually gotten a new logo, seen here on its homepage: http://www.musc.edu/ and in this announcement (apparently it debuted quite awhile ago): http://www.musc.edu/catalyst/archive/2007/co9-28newlogo.html What do y'all think of it? What do you think of choosing one of their newer towers as their logo? Was that a good move? Even though not mentioned in the article, I just hope that this means the MUSC signage will FINALLY have a uniform look, and that much-needed directional signage will be installed. The campus has suffered for years with its hodgepodge of building signage accumulated over the years. Can't wait to see all those old clunkers removed and replaced with new, attractive ones!
  12. I like it! As a resident of Cayce, we NEED even a fraction of the recommendations from this charrette. I pray that the town leaders, including our new mayor, will ACT on these great suggestions. I especially like the ideas of updating the logo, streetscaping State Street (my street), and especially making a town out of the State St. "downtown". That area could be HUGE with the market ripe with students, young couples, single people, etc. all around for restaurants like the one in the slide show, ice cream parlors, coffeehouses, etc. Wow, I hope this happens!
  13. I finally took my camera to The Roof Top of the Sheraton (Palmetto Building), and here are some of the better ones--enjoy! (Click on an image to see larger image on Photobucket.) Palmetto Building Main Street facade. Cornice detail of Palmetto Building. Main Street entrance detail. They don't make ornament like they used to! Washington Street (the main) entrance to the hotel lobby, with valets and entrance to basement pub (red door). Now 19 stories up at The Roof Top bar. Straight ahead is the cornice of the Meridian Building. Cool observation point. Close to the edge (don't worry--thick glass panels protect!) is the Barringer Bldg. across Washington St. Bet you didn't know its cornice was so ornate. Behind and overhead is the Wachovia Bldg. Looking south toward the State House, with the new tower under construction on the right. Panning southwest now . . . . to The Vista. Great views and breezes guarantee a packed house. A great place to see and be seen in our city--so what are you waiting for?
  14. Those are excellent pics, Brasil! I can't wait to see the cool art deco facade of the theater (and its interior of course) after the renovations are done. I'm surprised you consider that a "big crowd". From the pics, it seems like a small gathering--but definitely not what I'd call a crowd, much less a big one, lol. Main Street looks deserted as usual, except for the hopeful and curious folks on the tour.
  15. Yeah, I want them to move to Cayce too for the same reason. What I don't want is the BB&T bank (or any one-story bldg.) built on the current site.
  16. I heard that a branch bank will be built there. It seems a bit small, but I for one sure would like SOMEthing else built on that gargantuan lot other than one rinky-dink CVS!
  17. This is another example of "I'll believe it when I see it." Hiller Hardware has threatened to close in Five Points at least once before. He seems to do that a lot if he's bitter about the changing times or re-development of the Vista and 5 Pts. Of course, 3.5 million is too much to turn down if it happens--but isn't he already a millionaire from the sale of the original Hiller Hardware on Lady Street? Geez . . . Boy, I hope it sure DOESN'T happen as reported in this article. A one-story bank branch would be awful there or anywhere in Five Points!
  18. One entrance into the Magnolia Project has been enchanced with the re-paving of Heriot Street, and its intesection with Rutledge Avenue. I checked it out the last time I was there--eventually Heriot Street will continue over a new causeway being built over the marsh and into Magnolia. Heriot Street was once just a quiet, almost rural lane of humble homes and a way to get to the rifle club on the river beyond. Boy, those days are now over--wonder how the residents feel? Not ony will traffic increase, but their property values have skyrocketed, and probably their taxes, too. The improved drainage, sidewalks, and lighting should be welcome, though.
  19. Wake County's growth rate in the last 10 years (%) is greater than Mecklenburg's, and if it continues even at the same rate, it will surpass Mecklenburg in population within 10 years. So, 70K would be no problem if things continue as is. You are so right that Charlotte would kill for a river--and so would Raleigh. We are so lucky that our "Big Three" of Cola., Chas., and Grvl. ALL have river(s) running through them! They add tremendously to our quality of life, that's for sure. I agree totally about Wikipedia and its Nazis! I hate to bother anymore for the same reasons you gave. But at least Krazeeboi will take care of famous Columbians. We can't have folks thinking that we have contributed NO ONE to the American experience, right?
  20. The management company is filing for bankruptcy, this doesn't mean the mall or its stores are losing money or going down the drain. The company owns ~200 malls. Part of their bankruptcy might involve selling their assets, and so CC could have a new owner. However, I see this as indicative of what I was saying earlier: indoor malls are becoming less and less relevant to consumers while newer "neo-traditional" lifestyle centers are exploding. Columbiana should be fine for now, but Columbia Place's days are numbered. It is ironic that the former's owner is the bankrupt one, though, isn't it?
  21. The motel torn down used to be HoJo's, didn't it? The separate office/restaurant building looked like the classic A-frame HoJo's restaurant design. Regardless, I was very disappointed that it wasn't made into a cool restaurant (something we have NONE of in Cayce, but should with the hundreds of college students and young professionals around), and the lodging made into housing for students. Also, that HUMONGOUS lot was cleared, and all we get is a rinky-dink CVS? I believe they ARE building a small branch bank in the remainder of the lot, to the left of CVS. It would have been cool if they would've built the CVS to the sidewalk, and parking in the rear, but Cayce is not that advanced in urban design guidelines (re: it has NO such guidelines, but should). The large landscaped area on the corner with the palmettos is city property, and two other corners are of similar design (BoA and Lizard's Thicket). Guignard Park is the fourth one, making that corner, albeit suburban, at least nicely landscaped. The repaving of State Street is so nice (on my part), and long overdue! Woo-hoo! Can't wait until they finish it to West Columbia. BTW, have y'all checked out West Cola.'s improved crosswalks and new traffic lights at State Street/Meeting Street? A huge improvement!
  22. Here are some pics I took recently of the Guignard Brick Works development: Good to see the old brick kilns and support building are being saved (of course). It seems they are building streets within. Old support building also being saved and reused somehow. Great! I was disappointed that they demolished the handsome "Cayce" sign (in background along Knox Abbott). Not sure if it was planned to be done away with, or if it was accidental. They did manage to take off the letters beforehand, but this was after I noticed a couple of hits. It didn't seem to be in the way of anything, so not sure why it's gone. New road looking west toward Alexander Street, with new bank on left. New road looking north toward Alexander Street (after it curves east/west), with apartment complex in background. I still haven't heard an explanation of what this project involves. There are no signs trumpeting anything. The State and other media have ignored it. I think I heard "mixed use", which would be ideal, but nothing definitive. Does anyone have a link to renderings? I want to see renderings!!
  23. Hey, I just noticed something about Columbia's Wikipedia entry: someone has deleted the section on Notable Columbia Natives/Residents! Does anyone here have a copy of what was previously there, or else we'll have to start all over--geesh, Louise! Krazee, Spartan, don't y'all add things to Columbia's Wikipedia entry? Wonder what happened to that important part? Where's Hootie? I can help, btw, if you two don't have anything in your records.
  24. I like Raleigh's downtown in a number of ways. Some things it has I wish we had in Columbia's downtown. The skyline of Raleigh is not that impressive, certainly not one that beats ours. The N.C. statehouse is not as attractive as ours, but there are also better looking ones in other states, so that is not that important. I stayed in downtown Raleigh recently, and whoever commented that it shuts down at 5pm like ours was right! Fayetteville Street and around the statehouse was dead. At least Columbia does have the Vista so close. Raleigh's equivalent, the name of which escapes me now (it was along a street with tons of restaurants, etc.), was nice but did not quite have the vibe of the Vista, IMO. It was also quite a hike further away than the Vista is from the center of town. Otherwise, I think the two downtowns are quite comparible. However, as we just mentioned, Raleigh doesn't have an exciting and beautiful RIVER RUNNING THROUGH IT! (Just my little poke at North Carolinians.)
  25. Believe it or not, Wake County is just about to surpass Mecklenburg County as the most populous in N.C.--hard to believe! (Read: too many people--more than twice Richland County's, but within about the same square miles.) Spartan, you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out our river and its amenities. Those wide, scenic, rocky shoals and roaring rapids-filled waters of our 3 Rivers converging right at our feet! Most cities would KILL for that! As it becomes more and more our focal point, it will blow 'em away.
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