Do you live in an older or historic neighborhood? Are you concerned about an historic property in your community? The resources below provide guidance on neighborhood-level preservation tools, such as revolving funds, architectural conservation districts and the process and benefits of establishing local landmarks and National Register of Historic Places listings.
Melrose Heights bears the distinction of being one of Columbia’s earliest suburbs. Established from 1900 through 1950 on land amassed by members of the Powell family, this architecturally diverse community is named after their former home. Since 2003, this neighborhood and Oak Lawn, which lies to the east, have been protected by the City of Columbia as an architectural conservation district. In 2016, Historic Columbia helped Melrose Heights with its application to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Architectural Conservation Districts
We often serve as an advocate in supporting City of Columbia-established architectural conservation districts designed to preserve the historic character of residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. Please note that the City of Columbia's Design/Development Review Commission (DDRC) has decision-making authority on architectural conservation districts.
Historic District and Historic Landmark Designation and Listing in the National Register of Historic Places
We often assist neighborhoods and individual property owners in their quest to establish historic districts, nominate properties as historic landmarks or to have individual properties recognized by the Department of the Interior through listing in the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, consult this FAQ Guide.
Historic Columbia Fee for Services
We are happy to assist individuals and businesses in a wide range of preservation-related needs, including conducting research on historic properties, drafting National Register of Historic Places submissions and making public presentations.
- Building History
Interested in determining if your building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or Local Landmark Designation? Are you curious about how your home or business changed over time, or about folks who may have lived or worked there?
Historic Columbia conducts thorough research on residential or commercial properties. We use a combination of in-house tools and other local resources including the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, city directories, newspapers and the buildings themselves. Final research products from such research may include maps, images and property ownership and occupancy information as well as property evolution.City Landmark Application
A City Landmark designation can make a building eligible for protections or incentives, such as tax credits or the Bailey Bill. Documenting the history of a building and any changes over time is key to determining this status.
- National Register Application: Individual Site or District
The National Register of Historic Places is one of the highest distinctions a building can receive. There are over 440 properties in Richland County listed in the National Register. Whether it is an example of high-style architecture or a site where an important event took place, listing in the National Register is an honorary designation; however, it does make a property eligible for tax incentives if rehabilitation is planned for the site. A nomination to the National Register requires extensive research into a building's history as well as a detailed architectural description. Photographs are required for this multi-phased nomination process as well. Nominations are reviewed at the state level on a quarterly basis. In addition to completing the nomination forms, Historic Columbia can prepare and present the nomination to the review committee.
- Fee for Services
These services are available to anyone who seeks them out; however, members of Historic Columbia receive a discounted rate. The hourly rate for Historic Columbia members is $60/hour and $75/hour for non-members.
There has been recent concern over local historic district regulations in certain Columbia neighborhoods. Specifically, some Columbia citizens are concerned over the process owners must follow to renovate or make changes to their historic properties. Historic Columbia understands how certain regulations might be seen as challenging in the short term,...