What can West Columbia’s old City Hall become?

Speculation has already started

News came out last week that the City of West Columbia is moving to buy West Columbia’s old City Hall and Fire Department.

City Hall inscription. (Photos by Terry Ward.)

The yard surrounding the old building – from Meeting-to-Center Street – will be converted to parking space for about 100 cars.  The site is one-half block from State Street and The River District.

But what will become of the classic old building that stands on the property? It was build in 1925, the year inscribed into its front.

This early in the process, city officials are not sure what will become of the building. There are also some other brick structures around it.

“We have not gotten that far yet,” said West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton, but, he said of course, it will be preserved.

With the move to buy the property just announced, speculation has started.

Joe Taylor, who has restored other historic properties in West Columbia for commercial use, said it is one of the “coolest” buildings in the city.

“Get it on the tax rolls,” Taylor said. He suggested that the city request proposals for use of the building. He said it could fit in well with the restaurants that are already in the area.

It reads Brookland Fire Department.

There are also other ideas.

“It would be a great place for a museum, said Bill Mooneyhan, the owner of a West Columbia auto repair shop.

Mooneyhan, who has deep family roots that go way back into West Columbia’s history, is something of an archive for artifacts and photos of the area.

He said he has been in the old City Hall building before, but it was decades ago.

Gregg Pinner, president and CEO of the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce, said a museum is a good idea. He also said that the building, that is two-stories, could be the site of a meeting place for special occasions and available to the public for use.

The back yard, space for parking.