The Big Apple, 1937 See the Big Apple Dance
Originally known as the House of Peace synagogue, today's Big Apple replaced an earlier house of worship destroyed by fire in 1915. After 21 years, the congregation outgrew its home and the building was sold in 1936. That same year the property became reincarnated as the Big Apple Night Club, where the dance craze that swept the nation during the summer of 1937 was born. Crafted by Columbia's African-American youth, the Big Apple dance eventually traveled to New York by way of white students from the University of South Carolina. The dance attracted the attention of famed dance instructor Arthur Murray and songwriter Tommy Dorsey who wrote "The Big Apple Swing." By 1938, however, the club had closed; the property was sold, and the dance was no longer popular. Abandoned in 1979, the former club was moved three years later from its original location at 1138 Park to its current siting at the corner of Hampton and Park streets. Acquired in 1993 by Historic Columbia Foundation, the rehabilitated Big Apple retains many of its original architectural features and is available as a rental facility for special occasions.