1600 Main Street
Between 1900 and 1920 developers erected many new landmark buildings in Columbia, including this property, which was built by the Richland Construction Company under the direction of local architect James B. Urquhart. Originally known as the “Manson Building,” named for the family that completed it at a cost of $36,000, the property opened for occupancy in January 1912. Like other new commercial buildings of the time, it featured expensive materials including Indiana limestone, marble and statuary bronze window frames and a floor plan that accommodated stores on the ground level, offices on the second floor and a large meeting room on its third floor. By October 1914, the building was home to Peoples National Bank, which, among other tenants, operated there until March 1920, when one of the city’s most successful stores—Bon Marche—moved into this address. Described as “artistic and convenient in every sense of the word,” Bon Marche became the go-to for women looking for the latest in fashion for the next 13 years.
In 1941, Joe B. Berry, a member of Columbia’s Jewish community and one of several Jewish merchants who would impact Main Street, opened his women’s clothing store, Berry’s on Main, at 1608 Main Street. By 1962, Berry's expanded to the Manson building, which underwent a major renovation that enclosed the building’s original red brick and Indiana limestone façade under one of pebbled stucco and an enormous business sign. Like other downtown landmark businesses, Berry’s Main Street anchor store suffered declining numbers of clientele during the late 1970s and early 1980s, ultimately causing the family to close its doors in 1982. In 1999, the current owner, Capitol Places, purchased the site for commercial and residential use and debuted the rehabilitated, historic landmark in 2001 as Capitol Places II.