Historic Garden District Planned For City Center
The Historic Columbia Foundation has plans for a 21-block garden district bounded by Taylor, Calhoun, Marion and Barnwell streets and surrounding the city’s and county’s historic homes.
In the 1800s, the area contained some of the South’s most revered gardens, but they fell into disrepair after the Civil War and in the mid-20th century were abandoned and plowed under.
Now, Historic Columbia is resurrecting those gardens with public walks, interpretive signs and docents highlighting a different era of landscaping at each of the five properties.
Planners said the project will make Columbia the nation’s first city to illustrate and interpret a century of landscaping — in this case, 1820-1920.
Also, the district’s walkways will help connect the downtown areas of USC, Main Street, the proposed Bull Street neighborhood at the site of the State Hospital campus, and the Waverly neighborhood, including Allen University and Benedict College.
“It’s a massive project,” garden committee co-chairwoman Belinda Gergel said of the estimated 10-year, multimillion-dollar endeavor. “But great cities deserve great projects.”
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