Since Columbia’s 1786 founding, the grounds of the South Carolina State House have grown from a 4-acre site bounded by Richardson (Main), Gervais, Assembly, and Senate streets into a 22-acre complex featuring 7 buildings and more than 30 monuments. South Carolinians have constructed, altered, and reconsidered this space for more than 230 years—and continue to do so today. In a project funded by SC Humanities, Historic Columbia is exploring this site as an historic landscape – one that raises complex questions and encourages thoughtful consideration about what monuments in this public space represent.
To provide a baseline of information about the State House Grounds, Historic Columbia created a web-based tour utilizing the comprehensive survey undertaken by architectural historian Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D. In concert with this digital tour, Historic Columbia is offering three guided tours of the State House Grounds – Saturday, October 19 (10am); Saturday, December 7 (10am); and Sunday, December 15 (2pm).
Tours are free and open to the public; however, attendees are also asked to participate in a round table discussion on January 26, 27 or 28. These facilitated conversations will encourage participants to think critically about the monuments and discuss the future of the historic space. Tour numbers are limited and reservations are required.
Historic Columbia supports and protects the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County through advocacy, education and preservation. For more information about Historic Columbia, visit the website: https://www.historiccolumbia.org/.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.
Picture: Strong Thurmond Monument, 2019. Historic Columbia collection