2020 Preservation  Award Winner: 2144 Sumter Street

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By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

Interior of 2144 Sumter Street in Columbia SC
2144 Sumter Street. Image courtesy of SEED Architecture 

Each year, Historic Columbia presents Preservation Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of local property owners; professionals in the fields of architecture, construction and design; and leaders who champion preservation as an opportunity to support the Midlands’ economy and culture. These awards are given in the areas of Preservation Leadership, Preservation/Restoration, Adaptive Use and New Construction in a Historic Context.

2144 Sumter Street prior to renovations
Once home to Dave's Transmission Shop, this location is still a destination for clientele intent on moving forward. Image courtesy of SEED Architecture 

2144 Sumter Street

Adaptive Use 

Owners: Cason Development Group

Architect: Seed Architecture

Contractor: Boyer Commercial Contracting 

For nearly fifty years, 2144 Sumter Street stood as an important component of the three-building enterprise known as Dave’s Transmission Shop whose employees’ prowess in repairs kept patrons moving in the right direction. Today, through creative adaptive use this former warehouse is again a destination for clientele intent on moving forward! Though progressive in their respective fields of real estate development, architecture and consultative sales training, the property’s contemporary tenants—Cason Development, Seed Architecture, No BS Sales School, and Stirling Clark, LLC—nonetheless draw inspiration from the past. With each step they take members of these businesses literally trod on the “ghosts” of past entrepreneurial success upon the building’s concrete floors. Shadows of gears, clutch plates, housings and pans—oil-stained reminders of the former warehouse’s prior life—remain as a testament to the engineering involved in combining the right parts to achieve the greatest output. 

Lobby of 2144 Sumter Street
2144 Sumter Street has four tenants, including SEED Architecture. Image courtesy of SEED Acrhitecture 

Though an inspired plan by Seed Architects, 2144 Sumter Street’s bespoken industrial past meshes seamlessly with a contemporary, funky vibe that results in a premium office space environment nestled in a dynamic section of Cottontown’s commercial district. This effect is achieved by celebrating the once-austere building’s character-defining, historic features such as concrete block walls poured concrete floors, steel bow truss construction and the revealed decking of a barrel-vaulted ceiling with modern garage doors. Unprecedented additions—particularly the use of storefront windows, garage roller doors, and interior glazed barndoors—provide ample ambient light for all offices. A well-apportioned break room lies contiguous to an enclosed east-facing patio that affords the building’s new users a private greenspace for breaks and business gatherings.

Patio at 2144 Sumter Street
A private greenspace for breaks and business gatherings at 2144 Sumter Street. Image courtesy of SEED Architecture 

The 2020 Preservation Awards are made possible through our generous sponsors Boyer Commercial Construction, Brennan Works LLC, Columbia Development Corporation, Garvin Design Group, GBX Group LLC, Hood Construction Company, Inc., Lambert Architecture & Construction Services, Inc., PMC Property Group, Rogers-Lewis, 1x1 Design, Architrave, Inc., Cason Development Group, Honey River Catering, and Seed Architecture.