Thursday, April 17, 2008
I became particularly enamoured with this one particular building in the Vista area of Columbia.
I called it the Bassett Warehouse, (because that was what was painted on the side) but when I researched, I found out it had been a number of things. It had been built as a printing plant for the Confederates, and it burned down when Sherman marched through Columbia. After that, it was resurrected as a warehouse to store liquor for the state of South Carolina under the dispensary system, until prohibition was enacted. It was used next during World War II for the U.S. Seed Loan Program. Later it was used for a paper company and then the furniture company, Bassett. The exterior had deteriorated so much, though, that it has been out of use since 1977. Well, until recently. Just a few years ago it was renovated (which probably cost more than the sale price of the building) and made into a Publix. I was overjoyed to hear it had not been torn down. The Vista has really become a hip part of town, and the preservation of the industrial buildings has really been key in establishing its atmosphere.
For photos of the revamped Bassett Warehouse, visit the Historic Columbia Foundation. It doesn't look like I remember it, but it has been so many things I'm glad it was given the chance to have yet another purpose.
If you'd like to read more about the history of this building, I have an article I wrote some years back on my photo site, Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography.