In 1961 the Robert Mills House was threatened with demolition. A grassroots effort to save this property, one of South Carolina’s most important historic sites, led to the establishment of Historic Columbia. Today, we serve as the steward of six dynamic and diverse historic places and are the primary advocate for preservation throughout Columbia and Richland County.
Current Projects and Initiatives
We are the primary preservation advocacy organization in Columbia and Richland County. We work with neighborhoods, City and County Council members, property owners and other interested parties to ensure the preservation of essential historic resources in the area.Learn More
We hold an annual Preservation Awards Luncheon each year to celebrate the accomplishments of local architectural, construction and rehabilitation projects and leaders.Learn More
Resources for the Public
We're here to help and have compiled a toolbox of helpful resources for homeowners, neighborhood associations and the preservation-minded.Learn More
Why is Preservation Important?
In addition to solidifying a community's past, preservation can help strengthen a community's future. Historic buildings help create vibrant, cultural downtowns that draw tourism, art, festivals and other activities, which in turn draw investment, revenue and economic growth. Historic neighborhoods are cultural anchors for our multi-faceted community providing benefits that are economic, environmental and social. Historic structures are a physical link to our collective memory, a teaching tool we can look to as a source of wisdom and strength when we need it.
Economic Impact Study Report Released
The first of its kind for the Midlands, this report details the collective impact historic preservation has on Columbia's economy in four main areas: Jobs, Investment, Tourism Revenues, and Property Value Growth.
Local Preservation Successes
Columbia's Green Book Sites
The Green Book, as it was commonly called, helped African American tourists navigate what was, according to distinguished historian Gretchen Sorin, "an uncertain landscape" that was "composed of white spaces where black people were forbidden or unwelcome." Katharine Allen, our Director of Research and Interpretation, was recently able to compile a list of Columbia's own Green Book Sites.