Historic Columbia hosted a virtual walk-through tour Thursday night of renovations taking place at 1639 through 1645 Main Street, Columbia.
The property is set to be converted into a restaurant named Smoked, serving high quality smoked meats and oysters with a members-only access speakeasy. The second floor will be turned into luxury apartments.
This building was chosen for the renovation because of its beautiful features and unique ability to transform three storefronts into one restaurant. The renovations pay homage to the original property and businesses that were first constructed in the late 1800s.
The hour-long tour allowed participants to observe the construction, ask questions and interact with the facilitators, while providing an inside look at three centuries of construction methods.
A defining feature of the building is a large, original skylight that will highlight the horseshoe-shaped bar as the focal point of the space. Certain historical events can be pieced together based on the physical evidence of the building, such as the blackened and charred boards surrounding the skylight caused by a fire in the 1920s.
Various facilitators from Historic Columbia and other partners including Mashburn Construction led the tour and answered questions along the way. Historic Columbia has been hosting behind-the-scenes tours for eight years, but has recently changed to virtual tours due to COVID-19 restrictions.
John Sherrer, Historic Columbia's Director of Cultural Resources, was the facilitator of the tour and worked with partners and businesses to put on the successful event.
“Historic preservation advocacy is so important. For me, the pleasure of being both a historian and detective to look into property with colleagues, I enjoy the benefit of historic preservation in action. A cool part of the task is enjoying research in our hometown, but also playing a role in the future of the city by utilizing original foundations.”
This renovation is contributing to the growing entertainment district of Main Street and bringing Columbia back to its roots. Construction should be completed in September and open to the public in early fall.
Additional information and future behind-the-scenes tour dates can be found at historiccolumbia.org.