To celebrate the accomplishments of local architectural, construction and rehabilitation projects, Historic Columbia Foundation held its annual Preservation Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 2, at City Art. Local preservation activist and developer Richard Burts was surprised with the Preservation Leadership Award, given to someone who contributes to the advancement of historic preservation in the region.
Preservation Leadership Award: Richard Burts
Burts cut his teeth on old buildings with investments in Five Points in the 1990s, as well as his own residence. His interest in historic buildings took on epic proportions in 2006 when he and Robert Lewis purchased the 38,000 square-foot 701 Whaley Street in the Olympia community. This building, so central to the history of Columbia’s mill village, was literally falling in on itself, but Burts and Lewis saw beyond the deterioration and had the vision to bring this former community center back to life. At the time Burts described the process as “our little part of helping to preserve the past,” but the impact has had much broader implications, as this historic mill village is experiencing a renaissance around 701.
“Richard has an unusually keen sense of community and place that goes far beyond historic preservation,” said Fred Delk, director of the Columbia Development Corporation. “He has a sense of detail, always treats people in a fair and positive manner and looks for the greater good for the community.”
Much of the success of the movement to preserve the Palmetto Compress Warehouse can be attributed to Burts. He valiantly led the charge by working to bring people together to find creative solutions that he knows, from experience, will make Columbia a community that we can be proud to call home.
“I think it’s Richard’s delivery that is so incredibly effective. Light, informative, non-combative, often humorous, respectful and spot-on. He shares his wisdom for historic rehabilitation, and the result is our city and her people are all the better for it,” said Rosie Craig of McFarlaine Real Estate & Craig Historic Properties.
2013 Preservation Award Winners:
For decades Historic Columbia has recognized local projects that have maintained or added to the historical, architectural and cultural heritage throughout Columbia and Richland County by presenting recent preservation projects with awards in Preservation/Restoration, Adaptive Use and New Construction in a Historic Context.
“The 2013 Preservation Award recipients represent a broad cross section of projects from the restoration of an iconic private residence to the preservation of a Main Street movie theatre to the adaptive use of a mid-century modern dormitory,” said Robin Waites, executive director of Historic Columbia Foundation. “These award-winning projects reveal a real interest in sustainability, creative design and sensitivity to the small and large features that make our community unique.”
Nickelodeon Theatre, 1607 Main Street
Owner: The Columbia Film Society
Architect/Designer: Michael Baker, Jr., Inc.
Contractor: Mashburn Construction
Mashburn Construction and Michael Baker Jr., Inc. worked together to renovate the former historic State Theatre into the new home of the Nickelodeon Theatre. Portions of the extant original details and elements from later renovations provided opportunities for the building’s interior design. Pilasters from 1936 were incorporated into the theatre spaces, and the original beamed ceiling and some of the original lighting were refurbished. T he success of this project and other, similar Main Street ventures have already begun to stimulate other preservation efforts that honor Columbia’s history and enliven the city’s core.
J. Davis Powell House, Kandie and Patrick Wright, 1410 Shirley Street
Owner: Kandie and Patrick Wright
Architect: Jeff Lewis
Builder: Dick Gallup with Robert Lafitte
Designer: Christy Edens
In 2012, Virginia natives Kandie and Patrick Wright undertook the massive job of returning the circa-1917 Prairie Style house to a home where the couple and their two sons could live, seeking assistance from city and state preservation officials to determine the best course of action in retaining the historically important elements of the residence. With its low-pitched, hipped roof with broad overhanging eaves and elongated one-over-one windows, this architectural landmark is the city’s purest representation of the early Prairie architectural style. Working with a team of architects, builders and designers, the Wrights reversed some previously accomplished interior work; reconfigured a 1980s addition’s roofline to be more in keeping with the lines of the historic residence; restored the home’s windows and front doors; rehabilitated the heart pine floors; and installed period-inspired bathroom fixtures and cork flooring within a rehabilitated enclosed porch.
Spigner House, University of South Carolina, 915 Gregg Street
Owner: University of South Carolina
Architect: The Boudreaux Group
Contractor: Pyramid Contracting
Built in 1915 this icon in the University Hill Neighborhood is a testament to the shared principles of preservation and sustainability and achieved LEED® Gold Level Commercial Interiors Certification. The interior renovation included installation of new electrical, mechanical, plumbing and fire alarm systems, minor repairs to the wood windows, and restoration of the hardwood floors. An entirely new (but historically appropriate) color palette and lighting scheme brings the interiors to life and emphasizes the wood trim and plaster ceiling features. A highlight is the previously-enclosed porch, which now features new windows. The light-filled space with leaded glass windows looking into the central hall now serves as the catering director’s office.
Adaptive Use Awards:
Patterson Hall Dormitory, University of South Carolina, 1520 Devine Street
Owner: University of South Carolina
Architect: Garvin Design Group
Contractor: Sheil Sexton
The University of South Carolina’s renovation of Patterson Hall addressed several issues, including safety, sustainability and a seismic up-fit to comply with current building codes. The team at Garvin Design Group added shear walls outside Patterson Hall by constructing four new towers, one on each side of the building that would be braced back to the structure and provide needed lateral support. This solution sped up construction, moved the stairs and elevators to the towers (rebuilt to code), and accommodated a new suite-style room layout.
Hay Hill Garden Market, 1625 Bluff Road
Owner: Fred Gant
When transforming the 1960s-era warehouse into an urban garden center, Hay Hill Owner Fred Gant met the needs of his company’s landscape architects by reworking the building’s former offices into a contemporary meeting space suitable for client support. Throughout the showroom, modular display walls, fashioned from new and reclaimed lumber, create rooms to display merchandise. Outside, nearly two acres of grounds house the retail plant section. Through its adaptive use, the 9,700-square foot property embraced not only a green ideal for recycling old buildings, it became a showplace for the company’s landscaping and gardening capabilities.
New Construction in a Historic Context Award:
City Center Development Parking Garage, City of Columbia, at the corner of Taylor and Sumter Streets
Owner: City of Columbia
Architect: LS3P Associates, Ltd.
Contractor: Contract Construction
Columbia transformed a low-density surface parking lot in an urban, historic area into a high-density infill project with a garage that evokes the architecture of nearby buildings. The street-front elevations utilize a combination of masonry materials, recessed vertical planes and variegated massing to break down the large scale of the structure and articulate the level of detail seen in the surrounding buildings. The project provides retail space on the street level, enclosed stair towers and a landscaped pedestrian pathway to Main Street. Great attention was given to the building’s detailing, resulting in a timeless aesthetic.