1213 Blanding Street
Tronco’s (Fire Station)
Since 1941, this Reconstruction-era, Romanesque style structure has been home to Villa Tronco Restaurant, which provided both Columbians and soldiers stationed in the capital city during World War II with authentic Italian meals. However, the building's original occupants were firefighters with one Columbia’s oldest all-volunteer companies, the Palmetto Fire Engine Company. In 1903, the Palmetto merged with three other fire companies to form the capital city’s first paid fire department. The Columbia Fire Department operated from this site until 1921 when it relocated to 916 Main Street. From then until 1937, the Southern Bell Telephone Company leased the circa-1869 building.