Back by popular demand, Historic Columbia's Behind-the-Scenes Tour series opens the doors to Columbia Down Under from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Experience a group of shops, bars and restaurants that operated between 1972 and 1974 just below the surface of the Arcade Mall on the 1300 block of Columbia's Main Street. Guests will have a chance to speak with the property owners and learn about future plans for the Equitable Arcade. While taking this exclusive tour, enjoy wine, beer and light hors d'oeuvres.
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. At the time it was built, the Arcade Mall was strategically situated within a very popular section of this main commercial district. The structure’s proximity to the Barringer Building, Columbia’s first sky-scraper, undoubtedly ensured its tenants’ exposure to large numbers of pedestrians conducting business downtown. Columbia Down Under sought to mimic the success of Underground Atlanta, but its initial success succumbed to the suburbanization that plagued the stores and businesses located above. Today, Columbia Down Under is remembered as a unique attempt to capitalize on the Arcade Building's location and architectural layout.
Don’t miss out! There is limited availability and tickets will be offered to Historic Columbia members first at $30 per member now through Dec. 20. As this is a very popular tour, we’re allowing 1 ticket per Individual membership and 2 tickets for Family membership. If there are tickets remaining, they will open to non-members for $40 per non-member on Wednesday, Dec. 20. We are also offering a special Holiday Membership Bundle which includes an Individual membership & One Down Under Tour Ticket $60 ($75 Value) Couple/Family membership & Two Down Under Tickets $ 100 ($130 Value). These tours are expected to sell-out quickly and advanced ticket sales only. Visit historiccolumbia.org to learn more about becoming a member.