Columbia Housing Heritage Trail
Prior to its demolition of the historic Allen Benedict Court housing village, Columbia Housing engaged Historic Columbia as a preservation consultant to meet compliance requirements for Section 106: National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 by researching, interpreting, and disseminating the history of the Columbia Housing Authority, which has carried out a mission to provide “decent, safe and sanitary housing to low and moderate-income residents in the City of Columbia and Richland County” since 1937. The history of the Housing Authority of Columbia, as it was originally called, is a chapter in the larger history of the state’s capital city and a lens through which we view social, economic, architectural, and racial forces that shaped public housing throughout much of the United States from the inception of federal-subsidized housing during the Great Depression to the present day.
Production of a long-form, academic history of the Columbia Housing Authority involved primary and secondary materials including but not limited to newspapers, maps, architect renderings, photographs, planning studies, and Columbia Housing literature. The resultant history serves as a foundation for three interpretive devices—an online tour; interpretive signage applied to traffic boxes proximal to current and former Columbia Housing sites; and interpretive signage to be installed in the future Columbia Housing Headquarters Plaza. Each platform will connect users to individual histories of public housing facilities and the longer history of the organization.
Historic Columbia believes disseminating this content will not only promote heightened awareness of the past contributions of Columbia Housing to the capital city but also served as a platform for former and current residents of public housing to share their experiences of living in Columbia. Please contact John Sherrer if you want more information about the project.
In Partnership With
Thematic Tour (StoryMaps)
Reach Out to the Research Team
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