1500 Main Street
As one of the most impressive buildings erected on Main Street after the Civil War, the Central National Bank became an instant landmark. Details such as a mansard roof, heavy quoins and window drip courses set the structure apart from neighboring buildings, while bringing a French flair to the rebuilding commercial district. During the 1890s Columbia had at least three other buildings that looked like this building--City Hall, Southern Life Insurance Company building and the Kendall building. Of the three, one was lost to fire and the other two were demolished to make way for new buildings. In 1905, Swedish immigrant brothers Gustav and Johannes Sylvan rehabilitated this property into their jewelry store. Changes included removing the structure’s front corner staircase and adding large windows for displaying merchandise.
The building’s popularity among Columbians and travelers led it to be photographed often, including during the 1870s in a stereographic view by W.A. Reckling and in postcards from the early days of Sylvan’s.