Definition — adaptive reuse (noun): the renovation and reuse of pre-existing structures (such as warehouses) for new purposes.
With a city as rich in history as Columbia, it is expected that we have some older buildings around town. Over time, buildings age and the purpose or need for the space changes. Rather than starting from scratch and building a new building in their place, buildings can oftentimes be repurposed with the help of the Historic Tax Credit and designers. That is where adaptive reuse comes in.
Walking down Main Street you can find many examples of adaptive reuse, including the award-winning work at 1649 Main St., which is now the location of Hendrix and the Woody.
The building is one of the oldest surviving structures on Main Street’s commercial historic district dating back to the mid-1800s. It originally housed a grocery and meat market until 1926 and was a hardware store until 1998. You might remember the building was Hennessy’s Restaurant and Lounge before being transformed into what it is today.
On the other side of town, 701 Whaley has been working for almost 2 years to repurpose the indoor swimming pool that dates back to 1918 into another event venue that will accommodate up to 150 people. The pool was once widely used by the mill workers and their families in the early 1900s and is now preserved under glass so event guests can walk over it.
There are many more examples currently open around Columbia, including the Ensor Building at BullStreet that was formerly a research lab from 1939 that is now the building that used to house Bone-In-BBQ next to Segra Park. Another example is the Curtiss-Wright Hangar that is now home to Hunter-Gatherer Brewery.
Results Fitness is coming soon to a 3,000-square-foot warehouse-style building, which has been vacant for 10+ years, on Garners Ferry Road. Local fitness instructor Robert Simmons is expecting to open the gym by this summer.
The Lady will add 109 apartments, ranging from studios to 3-bedrooms, across 3 historic buildings on the corner of Lady and Sumter streets. The oldest of the buildings was first used as the Masonic Temple in 1921. Since then it has also been used as the headquarters for the Red Cross, bank offices, law offices, auto show rooms, and more.