Columbia South Carolina Information
Columbia had no paved streets until 1908, when 17 blocks of Main Street were surfaced. There were, however, 115 publicly maintained street crossings at intersections to keep pedestrians from having to wade through a sea of mud between wooden sidewalks. As an experiment, Washington Street was once paved with wooden blocks. This proved to be the source of much local amusement when they buckled and floated away during heavy rains. The blocks were replaced with asphalt paving in 1925.
The first paid firemen were hired in 1903. A car was purchased for the chief that same year, evidently the first vehicle owned by the city. In 1934, the federal courthouse at Main and Laurel was purchased by the city for use as City Hall. Built of granite from nearby Winnsboro, Columbia City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by Alfred Bult Millet, President Ulysses S. Grant's federal architect, the building was completed in 1876. Mullet, best known for his design of the Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., had originally designed the building with a clock tower. Large cost overruns probably caused it to be left out.Modify Search Criteria