Friday, May 12th 2023
2023 Preservation Award | 734 Harden Street
WINNER | Preservation, Rehabilitation, or Restoration
(Commercial, Institutional, Rental, or Municipal)
The Hair Building
734 Harden Street
Clint & Jenna Wallace — Property Owners
McCrory Construction Company — Contractor
Dewey Ervin Architecture, LLC — Architect
Rogers Lewis — Preservation Consultant
Located at 734 Harden Street in the Five Points National Register Historic District, the Hair Building dates to about 1921, distinguishing it as one of the village’s oldest commercial buildings. Historically named for its association with prominent lawyer and developer Thomas E. Hair, the two-story masonry building originally featured a two-part plan with retail tenants such as the Valley Meat Market and Five Points Pharmacy, and several professional offices on the second floor. The building has evolved over the last hundred years, including two rear one-story additions, the second of which was added outside the period of significance. The first floor’s interior was opened to become a single retail space and housed restaurants in the later part of the twentieth century including Capri’s Italian Grill and Parthenon Pizza. Most recently, it served as a college bar with three apartments located on the second floor. In the spring of 2022, new owners Clint and Jenna Wallace enlisted architect Dewey Ervin, preservation consultant Janie Campbell of Rogers Lewis, and McCrory Construction Company to rehabilitate the historic commercial building into an independent bookstore with the help of historic tax credits.
Both the building’s interior and exterior had been altered numerous times throughout the property’s one-hundred-year history, leaving little historic fabric visible at the onset. Following selective demolition, the ca.-1980s exterior stucco was carefully removed, revealing original brick beneath. Using historic photographs for guidance, the team designed a compatible storefront and façade, painting the brick white as was shown in a 1965 photograph. While existing one-over-one windows were retained on the second-floor façade, brick arches over these windows were uncovered following the stucco removal and were kept exposed while a new signboard for “All Good Books” was painted in the location of the historic painted sign. The building’s interior retained the existing open layout, restored the hardwood floors, and refurbished historic clerestory windows in the rear addition. The cracked quarry tile floor in the 1950s-era rear addition remained while the post-1970s rear addition was removed, providing a rear courtyard for the bookstore. Access to the central staircase was restored to the center of the façade, completing the restoration of the building’s historic appearance. The building’s conversion from a college bar to a family-friendly independent bookstore has done more than revitalize an historic building, it has rejuvenated a neighborhood in flux, giving a reason for Columbians of all ages to venture to Five Points.
Preservation Award Plaque
While May is Preservation Month, Historic Columbia would like to encourage the community to recognize the significance of these award-winning projects all year. To that end, we have established a Preservation Plaque program. These plaques are designed for and available to past Preservation Award recipients.