A Call for Cooks: 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off

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Do you make a mean bowl of “Famously Hot” chili? Then enter The Palladium Society’s 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off!

The Cook-Off will be held Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at the Ellison Building (State Fairgrounds). The deadline for contestants to enter is Feb. 21 (entry fee for contestants is $20).

To enter your recipe in our Chili Cook-Off,  please submit your payment of $20 along with the registration form here. In recent years, we’ve had close to 600 guests! Your registration fee covers your chili entry and 2 tickets (you + one guest – a value of $40!). Any additional assistants/ servers/ spouses must purchase their own tickets.

This annual event is hosted by The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia Foundation and features a variety of chili recipes from contestants, judging by local celebrities and chefs, live music and prizes for the winners.  More information about this year’s Cook-Off is found on our calendar here.

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Exclusive Tour of “Columbia Down Under” at Equitable Arcade Offered on January 19, 2012

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Equitable Arcade, home to "Columbia Down Under"

COLUMBIA, SC– (January 9, 2012) –  The Arcade Mall on Main Street has an interesting basement area that once housed “Columbia Down Under,” a series of shops, bars and eateries that operated in the early 1970s.  Historic Columbia Foundation is offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of “Columbia Down Under” in honor of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary.   This tour will be offered on January 19, 2012 from 7 pm – 10 pm, meeting at the Equitable Arcade Building (1332 Main Street).

Limited tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Reservations are required. Those interested in participating in the tour are encouraged to contact Wendi Spratt at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.7742 ext. 12.  The cost of the tour is $25/person for general admission and $20 for Historic Columbia Foundation members (tour cost includes complimentary cocktails).

Opened in 1972, “Columbia Down Under” closed in 1974, after two short years of operation. Today, “Columbia Down Under” is remembered in popular memory as a unique attempt to capitalize on the Equitable Arcade building location and architectural layout. Mimicking the success of “Underground Atlanta,” “Columbia Down Under” was created after a year’s worth of renovations for the new nightspot. Though initially successful, “Columbia Down Under” succumbed to the suburbanization that came to plague the stores and businesses located above, in the building’s above ground levels.

This tour is one in a series of VIP tours being offered in 2012.  Others include:

Tour and cocktails at W.B. Smith Whaley House –Dunbar Funeral Home: Jan. 18, 2012

Tour and Cocktails at Woodrow Wilson Family Home and Lorick House: Feb. 8, 2012

Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars: March 11, 201

Tour of the Powell-Wright House: April 26, 2012

Tour and Refreshments at the Guignard Brick Works: May 5, 2012

Detailed information (including cost, address and time for each tour) is available by clicking on the behind-the-scenes tour button at http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

About the tours, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says, “Historic Columbia Foundation is pleased to offer this VIP tour in celebration of our 50th Anniversary.”  She goes on to say “Explore Columbia’s Main Street in a new way by venturing underground”.

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/histcolumbia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historiccolumbia
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/discoverhistory
Website: http://www.historiccolumbia.org

About City Center Partnership:
City Center Partnership, Inc. (CCP) is a non-profit organization that manages South Carolina’s only managed Business Improvement District in the 36-block area bounded by Gervais, Elmwood, Assembly, and Marion Streets in downtown Columbia and is funded by the property owners within the district boundaries.

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Join Us for Our Second Sunday Stroll of Historic Heathwood THIS Sunday, January 8 at 2 pm: FREE for Historic Columbia Foundation Members

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Join Historic Columbia Foundation during this month’s Second Sunday Stroll this Sunday, January 8 at 2 pm. We’ll be touring the historic Heathwood neighborhood.

This guided walking tour will highlight the architecture and history found within Heathwood. A FREE tour for Historic Columbia Foundation members, the cost is just $6 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth (17 and under).

Reserve Your Place for Sunday’s Stroll
Reservations requested but not required. Please call 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. This Sunday’s Stroll will meet at Heathwood Park at 2 pm (Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Road). The guided tour will last approximately 90 minutes. Walk-up registrations are welcome.

About Heathwood:
Columbia’s “Heathwood” neighborhood derives its name from Moses Chappell Heath, who

Image courtesy Elizabeth K. Manning

established this community east of the city in the early 20th century. Initially bounded to the north by Heatherwood, the east by Kawana, the south by Garners Ferry Road, and the west by Albion, today Heathwood is a name associated with land developed by both Heath, beginning in 1914, and his son-in-law Burwell Deas Manning, Sr., starting about 1940. Successive generations of original families remain in this tight-knit community of architecturally distinct residences with mature landscapes.

The centerpiece of M.C. Heath’s suburban development was his sprawling home – Heathwood Hall. The cost to build the Neoclassical mansion ran approximately $100,000 in 1914. Surrounded by twelve fluted columns with a broad Corinthian portico that nearly encircled the house, his testament to success also featured extensive interior details of domestic and imported woods, Italian fireplaces, and imported and domestic antiques. Ultimately, the developer’s vision for a desirable retreat from downtown Columbia led other families to build within the newly established subdivision during the 1920s and 1930s.

Image courtesy Elizabeth K. Manning

M.C. Heath’s initial vision for his suburban development was expanded following his death, as his son-in-law Burwell Deas Manning pushed beyond the neighborhood’s original boundaries to the north toward Trenholm Road. Later development also occurred east of Heathwood Park as houses were built toward what is today Beltline Boulevard. Utlimately, the success of Heathwood as a desirable suburban neighborhood has led to changes that have erased some of the area’s historic assets, including the original developer’s former mansion.

Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History

Second Sunday Strolls are a part of Historic Columbia Foundation’s Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History initiative.

Walk. Along a footpath. Down a road. Beside a railroad track. See your city then – and now – through their eyes and yours. Share a memory, a photograph, appreciate the past. Historic Columbia Foundation invites you to retrace our shared past through its series of web tours, walking tours, and wayside exhibits.

Explore six virtual tours of Columbia’s historic neighborhoods (including Heathwood) on our website. Brochures are available in the Museum Shop.

Your story could be just around the corner.

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Preservation Matters: South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Bull Street Campus

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Since its inception fifty years ago, Historic Columbia Foundation has remained true to its most basic principle – to save architecturally and culturally significant places by educating the public as to their importance. After preventing the destruction of the Robert Mills House the organization grew to further serve the capital city and Richland County as a preservation advocate championing the future or historic structures. Today, Historic Columbia Foundation models historic preservation and public education at the seven historic sites under its stewardship, through public outreach within downtown and county communities alike, and by allying itself with strategic partners dedicated to improving the quality of life for contemporary and future citizens. What follows are stories behind Historic Columbia Foundation’s evolution over five decades into a leader in historic preservation and education.

Awesome, expansive and intriguing are but a few of the adjectives that spring to mind upon touring the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Bull Street facility. Bustling with activity for generations, the sprawling 178-acre tract of land today is best characterized largely by silence punctuated by sounds beyond its walls and perimeter roads. What lies ahead for this unique Columbia community remains far from certain. However, designs for its reuse have been vigorously debated for years and the key to the most successful plans will be retaining those aspects of the property of significant cultural and historical value.

The beginnings of what ultimately became a largely self-sufficient city within a city lay in the completion of the Robert Mills-designed South Carolina State Asylum building in 1828. Advanced in design and reflecting enlightened theories of mental health treatment, this landmark structure marked a proud chapter in early state history. Currently accommodating offices for the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, this earliest portion of the venerable campus falls outside the parameter of the tract primed for redevelopment.

Building upon Mills’ design genius further architects and healthcare professionals whose combined efforts resulted in an impressive array of structures diverse in styles and purposes. Among the most significant are several facilities located largely within the westernmost portion of the campus. Holding the distinction of being the largest and oldest is the Babcock Building, whose 300,000-square-feet were developed from 1858 through the early 20th century. The expansive Italian Renaissance style structure consists of a series of multi-level blocks connected one another and a central building, a design reflecting the Kirkbride system of mental health, which called architecture that segregated men from women patients and that removed support buildings from the main facility. Today, the building’s iconic red cupola remains one of Columbia’s most readily identifiable landmarks.

Further buildings of consequence that stand within the shadow of the Babcock Building include a late-1880s laundry; male and female dining halls from the 1910s; a circa-1900 bakery; the circa-1919 Parker Annex; a mattress factory; and the 1920-era LaBorde Building. Each masonry structure features a unique design that would inspire new uses. To the north lie further facilities, including the 1938 Williams Building and the 1939 Ensor Building and the circa-1955 Benet Auditorium and Horger Library and Chapel of Hope, all of which reflect design tastes immediately before and after World War II. Lastly, a handful of 1920s-1930s era bungalows – former homes for department employees, grant instant opportunities for new owners seeking vintage residential settings.

The vitality of any community can be measured by the manner in which it cares for its citizens and for its resources – be they built or natural. With the Department of Mental Health’s Bull Street campus lies an unprecedented opportunity to ensure a sound future for  Columbia, provided the necessary steps are taken to retain those aspects of the facility that speak to its history and development.

 

Rendered during 1916, this highly detailed panoramic view of the Bull Street campus illustrates the facility’s size and the striking architecture many of its buildings feature. Image courtesy South Carolina Department of Mental Health

 

Following Columbia Bible College’s move in 1958 to its new facilities in north Columbia, most of the institution’s original downtown campus was demolished. In an effort to integrate the Bull Street campus into surrounding neighborhoods, officials at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health lowered the campus’ Bull and Calhoun street walls and installed sections of steel fencing that once surrounded the Robert Mills House property. Part of this dramatic change was the creation of an elaborate gateway along Calhoun Street (shown here) that mimicked an earlier entrance along Bull Street, shown in the 1916 panoramic view of the facility.


Designed by Samuel Sloan in 1858 and built in stages from the antebellum period through the 1890s, the sprawling Babcock Building features one of the city’s most easily recognizable landmarks – a dull red cupola that offers commanding views in all directions.


While many of the Bull Street campus’ cultural assets are apparent, others that illustrate the facility’s complex past may lie hidden beneath its soil. For instance, archaeological inspection may uncover remnants of Camp Asylum, a prison established east of the Babcock Building in December 1864 that closed following Columbia’s occupation by Union soldiers in February 1865.

 

Pride in their mental health facilities led Columbians and other South Carolinians to include references to both the 1828 Robert Mills-designed Asylum Building and the later Babcock Building in postcards of the capital city that were circulated widely during the 1910s through 1920s.

 

Pride in their mental health facilities led Columbians and other South Carolinians to include references to both the 1828 Robert Mills-designed Asylum Building and the later Babcock Building in postcards of the capital city that were circulated widely during the 1910s through 1920s.

 

Featuring a pleasing amount of architectural details, the former bakery (shown here) and laundry buildings standing within the shadow of the Babcock Building could be placed to a variety of adaptive uses.

Ways You Can Help:

1. Share any stories, images, artifacts that you have related to the Bull Street Campus in the comments below or on our Preservation Matters Facebook page.

2. Attend public meetings that provide a forum to voice your interests, concerns about the site.

3. If you have architectural, archaeological or documentary skills or interests, contact us about future volunteer opportunities at the site.

4. Spread the word about the  South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Bull Street Campus by posting a link to this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and/or your website. The direct link is: http://blog.historiccolumbia.org/?p=263

5. Donate to Historic Columbia Foundation in honor of our 50th Anniversary. In an effort to save the Robert Mills House from demolition 265 visionary individuals, families and businesses each contributed $1,000 (equivalent to a $7,341 gift in 2011!) to Historic Columbia Foundation between 1961 and 1964. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Historic Columbia Foundation, our Board of Trustees invites you to continue the legacy of the 265 founding leaders by being among the first 265 donors to make a contribution to our 2011 – 2012 Anniversary Campaign. Your gift may serve as a memorial or honorarium and may be directed to benefit our special projects, endowment or general operation fund as noticed in 50th Anniversary donation form here.

6. Become a member of Historic Columbia Foundation. For as little as $35 (individual), your membership cost helps Historic Columbia Foundation in our local preservation and education efforts. Learn more…

7. Become a fan of Historic Columbia Foundation AND our “Preservation Matters” pages on Facebook. One-click buttons below:

8. Volunteer for Historic Columbia Foundation. By volunteering for Historic Columbia Foundation, you meet new people, visit historic sites, and discover the culture and lifestyles of South Carolina’s capital city and Richland County. Spend as little as six hours per month, or volunteer each week with us fulfilling our mission to nurture, support, and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and its environs through programs of advocacy, education, and preservation. Learn more about becoming a volunteer (and the many volunteer benefits) here.

9. Encourage your employer to support Historic Columbia Foundation. Much like the 1,000 visionary donors in 1961, sustaining the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation for the next 50 years will require donations not only from individuals and families, but also from local businesses. You can learn more about our business partners here. Contact Wendi Spratt in our development office at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

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Last Chance Reminder: Remember Historic Columbia Foundation in Your Year-End Giving

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It is not too late to remember Historic Columbia Foundation in your end of the year giving. Your donation will help support the next 50 years of preservation and education.

During our anniversary year, we’re offering expanded programs & events, many of which are free to the public.

Your generous donations help to support and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County through programs of advocacy, education and preservation.

Please consider giving making an end of the year gift. Our online donation page is available around-the-clock, easily accepting your electronic donation via credit card, check card or debit card. If you prefer, you may also download a donation form here and mail it with your donation to our administrative offices (1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201).

Thank you for your support!

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Have You Purchased Your VIP Tour Ticket(s) Yet?

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We have a few openings left for our exclusive behind-the-scenes tours in honor of our 50th Anniversary.  Tours begin in January of 2012. Each of these tours will be offered one-time in 2012, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more about the 50th Anniversary VIP Tours below.

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour. Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

Tour and Cocktails at Equitable Arcade/Columbia Down Under – SOLD OUT

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: 1332 Main Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Located within the 1300 block of Main Street, the Arcade Mall was Columbia’s first indoor shopping center. The Equitable Real Estate Company, a group of Columbia businessmen that included prominent banker and developer Edwin Wales Robertson, constructed this building in 1912 at a reputed cost of $200,000.00.  Keep reading…

Tour and cocktails at W. B. Smith Whaley House
– The Dunbar Funeral Home – SOLD OUT

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1527 Gervais Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Arguably Columbia’s most recognizable historic landmark, the former Dunbar Funeral Home was constructed between 1892 and 1893 as a private residence for W.B. Smith Whaley. A unique example of high Queen Anne style architecture, this handsome property captures the fanciful design interests of the late 19th century and speaks to the former grand houses that once lined Gervais Street. Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour showcasing the building’s history and get a rare view of this pre-rehabilitated site. Keep reading…

Tour and Cocktails at Woodrow Wilson Family Home and the Lorick House- SOLD OUT

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1705 and 1727 Hampton Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join us for a hard hat tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home (South Carolina’s only Presidential site) and receive an update on Phase II of the historic property’s rehabilitation. Afterward stroll next door to the recently rehabilitated circa-1840 Lorick House for a tour of this landmark property. Keep reading…

Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Location: Owens Field Municipal Airport Hangar
HCF Member rate- $8 / Family member rate- $25 / Non-member rate- $10

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the circa-1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar, the first building erected at Owens Field, an historic site that represents the contributions of air transportation to Columbia and South Carolina. First used to house airplanes for passenger and airmail services, this landmark building was used later as space for the civilian flight training program and finally for general aircraft maintenance. During the 1930s, Owens Field had the distinction of hosting many well-known aviators and personalities, including Amelia Earhart and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The tour will conclude at the Hangars Lofts, a former warehouse adapted into a unique residential experience by owner Joab Dick. Refreshments to be served. Details…

Tour and Refreshments at the Guignard Brick Works


Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: 100 Granby Crossing at Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce
HCF Member rate- $8 Family member rate- $25 Non-member rate- $10

Join us on a spring afternoon for an exclusive tour of the Guignard Brick Works followed by refreshments. A significant example of an early-20th century industrial complex, the Guignard Brick Works produced bricks for many buildings constructed in Columbia and throughout South Carolina from 1900 through the mid-20th century. The complex includes four brick beehive kilns, a historic brick office and remnants of other industrial features. Keep reading…

Guided Tour of the Powell-Wright House, a 1917 Prairie Style HomeSOLD OUT
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 1410 Shirley Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join Kandie and Patrick Wright as they lead a guided tour of their recently rehabilitated circa-1917 Melrose Heights home. Columbia’s purest example of Prairie Style architecture, this historic land-mark makes an ideal venue for enjoying history, tasty treats and libations. Pre-restoration images and stories from people that knew the property as young children will illustrate the journey this house has taken for almost one hundred years.

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Early Columbia Lecture Series Kicks Off January 17, 2012!

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In honor of our 50th Anniversary as an organization, Historic Columbia Foundation is pleased to offer a three-part Lecture Series on the history of Columbia, South Carolina.

We invite you to join us for Part I of the Early Columbia Lecture Series, hosted by historian and author Warner Montgomery, Ph.D. Part I of the series will cover Early Columbia from 1600 – 1850, meeting Tuesdays, Jan. 17 – Feb. 21 with an optional bus tour on Jan. 29. You’ll also have the opportunity to view some of Columbia’s oldest homes, churches and historic sites!

Topics Covered During Each Lecture (Part I)
Jan 17: Buffalo, Indians, Explorers and Settlers, 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Jan 24: The United States’ First Planned City 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Jan 29: Optional Bus Tour 2 PM – 5 PM
Jan 31: Columbia’s First Families 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 7: Columbia’s First Churches 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 14: Columbia’s First Schools 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 21: The Columbia Canal 6 PM – 7:30 PM

Columbia Revisited will be used as the textbook for this series. If you would like to pre-purchase a copy, please indicate so on your registration form. The cost will be $26.95 for members of Historic Columbia Foundation and $29.95 for all other participants.

About Warner M. Montgomery:
Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D, graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of Michigan, began his professional career as a teacher and coach at the new A.C. Flora High School in Forest Acres in 1960. After teaching in Thailand, Michigan, Ohio, Africa, and Canada, he returned to Columbia in 1989 as owner-publisher of the Columbia Star newspaper. He is now retired and writes and teaches about the history of Columbia.

Cost / Registration Information:
The cost for Part I of the series is $50 for HCF members (or $55 with bus tour), $60 for guests (or $70 with bus tour), and $35 for students with valid ID (or $45 with bus tour).

Those interested in attending parts I, II and III of the series may purchase admission to all three for $125 for HCF members (or $145 to include all three bus tours), $160 for guests (or $185 to include all three bus tours), and $95 for students (or $125 to include all three bus tours).

Register by downloading the print-friendly registration form.  You may also wish to print the Lecture Series outline (takes a moment to load – includes dates/times for all three parts)  to keep on file. Then, email your registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Part II of the Early Columbia Lecture Series will run Tuesdays March 27 – May 1, covering Columbia: A City Rebuilds (1865 – 1914). The optional bus tour on Sunday, April 15 from 2 pm – 5 pm, where we’ll view historic sites including cotton mills, the USC Horseshoe and Civil War sites is SOLD OUT. Details…

Part III of the Early Columbia Lecture Series will run Tuesdays September 4 – October 9, covering the 20th Century and Columbia celebrating 200 years. The optional bus tour will be held on Sunday, September 16 from 2 pm – 5 pm. We’ll be touring Columbia’s historic Main Street as well as surrounding neighborhoods.

Questions?
Contact Ann at 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Register
Click the button below to download the registration form.  Email your registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

To register, email the registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Questions? Contact Ann Posner at (803)252-1770 x 24 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

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The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Annual Meeting 2012 & Preserving our Places in History Awards Luncheon and Jazz Concert

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The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission has an event planned for January 27 of 2012 that you won’t want to miss!

Annual Meeting 2012 & Preserving our Places in History
Awards Luncheon and Jazz Concert
Friday, January 27, 2012
SC Archives and History Center
8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC

11:00 am~ Registration
11:30 – Noon ~ Greetings, Welcome, SCAAHC overview
Noon ~ Preserving Our Places In History Awards Luncheon
Keynote Speaker : Mr. Robert Stanton, Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of the Department of the Interior
1:15 pm ~ Preserving More Than Places In History: Celebrating South Carolina’s African American Jazz Heritage
Session One will chronicle the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans to one of America’s most popular musical genres, complete with live musical accompaniment.
Session Two will offer updates on the state’s various jazz initiatives.
Annual Mtg./Awards Luncheon
$20 SCAAH Foundation members; $25 non- members

Then join them for a nightcap ~ an elegant evening of Live Jazz featuring The Skipp Pearson Jazz Ensemble & The Bhakti Project
Reception at 6 pm Concert at 7 pm
The SCAAHC’s Trailblazer Award will be presented during the evening
Archives & History Center
$15 SCAAH Foundation members; $20 non – members

Click for details and registration form

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Discover the Joy and Wonder…

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From all of us at Historic Columbia Foundation, our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season and new year filled with joy and discovery.

Celebrate a special person through an Honorarium or Memorial – an excellent way to contribute to Historic Columbia Foundation while honoring or remembering a family member or loved one. Donations are recognized with an acknowledgement card sent to the honoree or their family.

The Holidays at Historic Columbia Foundation
Have family and friends in town for the holidays? The Robert Mills House, Mann-Simons Site and Hampton-Preston Mansion are open for tours Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm (last tour starts at 3 pm) and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm (last tour starts at 4 pm). HCF will be closed Christmas, Mondays and New Year’s. Learn more…

Special Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home offered on December 28 at 11 am
This special tour is being offered in honor of the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth. Reservations are recommended but not required, as the tour is expected to fill quickly. Tour attendees will meet at the Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. Learn more…

The Story of the Robert Mills House Rehabilitation
Though hard to imagine today, the destruction of the Robert Mills House would have been an irreconcilable loss to generations of South Carolinians and visitors to the Palmetto State. During the holidays at HCF, we are especially thankful for the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation’s first members and their dream to preserve the Robert Mills House. We invite you to read the story of the Robert Mills House rehabilitation. Be sure to leave us a comment with your connection to HCF so we know you stopped by! Read more…

Holiday Shopping left to do?
Our Museum Shop will be open until 3 pm on Christmas Eve! Avoid the long lines at the big box stores and shop local with us. Our friendly staff will help you select the perfect gift for everyone on your list! We also have HCF memberships with our collectible ornament ready for gifting, starting at just $35! Learn more…

Early Columbia Lecture Series Launch:
Dive into the history of Columbia at our Early Columbia Lecture Series – Kicks off January 17, 2012!
In honor of our 50th Anniversary as an organization, Historic Columbia Foundation is pleased to offer a three-part Lecture Series on the history of Columbia, South Carolina. Please join us for Part I of the Lecture Series, which covers Early Columbia from 1600 – 1850. View some of Columbia’s oldest homes, churches and historic sites! Learn more…

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Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home in Honor of Woodrow Wilson’s Birthday Being Offered on December 28, 2011 at 11 am

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COLUMBIA, SC – (December 22, 2011) – On December 28, 2011 at 11 am, Historic Columbia Foundation will be offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.  This special tour is being offered in honor of the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth. Those interested in taking the tour may reserve their place by email atreservations@historiccolumbia.org or by phone at 803.252.1770 ext. 24.  The cost of the tour is $6 for adults. Reservations are recommended but not required, as the tour is expected to fill quickly.  Tour attendees will meet at the Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Early in the New Year Historic Columbia Foundation will continue rehabilitation work on the property. During this second phase of a multi-phased project the site will receive new systems (HVAC, electrical, fire suppression and plumbing) and the addition of a support structure that will offer restrooms, a catering kitchen and storage space.

Those not able to attend the tour are encouraged to take a virtual tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home at http://www.WoodrowWilsonFamilyHome.com.  Through this virtual tour, Historic Columbia Foundation offers guests access to the dramatic story of all Columbia residents – black and white, male and female, native and transplanted – in the crucible of Reconstruction. The virtual tour is made possible in part by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Richland County, and the Humanities Council, SC.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home is South Carolina’s only presidential historic site.  This distinctive circa-1872 Italian villa-style residence was home to a 14-year-old boy named Tommy Wilson. Here his father Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson and his mother Jeannie Woodrow Wilson raised the young man who would come to hold the United States executive office and guide the nation through World War I as the first modern world statesman.

Standing at the southeast entry to the Robert Mills Garden District the Woodrow Wilson Family Home is a tangible link to the watershed Reconstruction era. Its history is embedded in the story of a southern community struggling to rebuild following the Civil War. At this historic site, experience From Dreams to Visions and Hopes to Purposes: Woodrow Wilson and Columbia, which addresses the Reconstruction era environment; the development of Thomas “Tommy” Woodrow Wilson from boy to man; and the historic preservation movement as experienced in South Carolina’s capital city.

About the tour, Sarah Blackwell, Director of Programs for Historic Columbia Foundation says, “Historic Columbia Foundation is happy to offer a special tour to honor the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth.” She goes on to say,  “This will be a wonderful opportunity for guests to view the Wilson Family Home before we begin the second phase of the rehabilitation process.”

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org  for details.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/histcolumbia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historiccolumbia
Web: http://www.historiccolumbia.org
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/discoverhistory

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