When driving into Columbia on Meeting Street from Lexington, the WECO sign on the left-hand side of the street has undoubtedly caught your eye.
The iconic sign lets you know you’re in West Columbia as it sits near eye level with the downtown Soda City skyline.
Today the sign is past its prime, a rusty relic with white paint flaking off pool balls, giving way to a rich history buried underneath. Tomorrow, the sign will be gone, but not for long.
Thanks to a partnership between Riggs Partners — the marketing firm headquartered
beside the sign — and the City of West Columbia, the iconic sign will see new life and will soon light up the night.
A quick history of the sign
The building where the sign is located was built in 1949 as a grocery store known as the Lower Main Market, which soon after became Dixie Home stores. If the Dixie Home name doesn’t sound familiar, the Winn-Dixie name might ring a bell.
The sign was added sometime between 1965-1969 when the building became the Carolina Tile and Carpet Center.
But what about the pool balls?
From 1970-2001, the location served as home to WECO Billiards when the pool balls were added. When WECO Charity Thrift took over the space from 2002-2006, the pool balls were painted white. In 2007, Riggs Partners took over the location and renovated the building. Now it’s the sign’s turn for a little renovation.
Rack ‘em up, soon the balls will be back in all of their glory.
The sign is scheduled for removal tomorrow at 9 a.m. and will be refurbished locally. You won’t be missing it for too long, though. The refurbishment is expected to take 6-8 weeks, after which, the sign will be unveiled in a ceremony in November.
Locals can expect the sign to showcase new lights, fresh paint, and a new clean look, reviving the historic sign for years to come.