1210-1214 Main Street
The oldest building remaining on this block and one of Main Street's oldest remaining buildings takes its name from carriage maker and businessman Michael Brennen. In December 1864, Brennen bought the land on which the building stands. Newspaper advertisements prove the two-story masonry structure was available for rent by 1870. Architecturally, the Brennen building is representative of most commercial buildings erected in Columbia immediately after the Civil War, with the ground floor containing two storefronts and the upstairs being placed to either residential or further commercial use. Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps show that the building’s cast-iron balcony, which evokes a French Victorian feel, was added sometime after 1919. The Capitol Café, a popular restaurant for legislators, prominent citizens and every-day diners, operated from the building’s 1210 address between 1911 and 2002, making that establishment the property’s longest-serving business. Tuesday nights were especially lively at the café, with “hootenannies,” a spontaneous dance party with live musicians providing entertainment. Today, following award-winning rehabilitation work by owner First Citizens Bank, Blue Flour Bakery and Bourbon operate out of the Brennen building's two storefronts.
- Architectural Style: French Victorian
- Built: circa 1870