Claussen's Bakery: A Landmark of Industrial Columbia

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Friday, January 4th 2019

Claussen's Bakery

On Thursday, January 17, we will take guests on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Claussen’s Bakery, a historic Five Points landmark that originated as Claussen’s Bakery in 1928.

The building was built by George Frederick Claussen, the grandson of a German immigrant who had previously established a steam bakery in Charleston. Through the first half of the 20th century, Claussen expanded his business to Greenville, as well as Augusta and Savannah, Georgia. Within a decade of its opening, Claussen’s put Columbia on the map as an important center for bakery products and employed several hundred workers throughout the state.

Claussen's Historical Photo
Claussen’s Bakery, 2003 Greene Street, Columbia, 1940. Image courtesy Russell Maxey Photograph Collection, Richland Library

Besides its significance in Columbia’s industrial development, Claussen’s is an icon of a popular band of corporate-style architecture that arose during its early years. For Claussen’s, this type of design prioritizes function over fashion with three loading doors adjacent to both a railroad and parking lot in the back and no decorative design on the interior. The building also has a substantial metal framing system throughout, which was necessary for the heavy baking equipment that was carried back and forth at the time.

Until it ceased operation in 1963, Claussen’s Bakery made significant contributions to the industrial and commercial development of Columbia. The building will be rehabilitated as boutique apartments in the near future. Learn more about the origins of this building and see for yourself by going behind-the-scenes with us on Thursday, Jan. 17!

This article was originally published in the Columbia Star.