A Grand Old Sign

Joe Nester - Sunday, May 06, 2018

For 104 years The Grand Theatre sign lay silently in darkness, covered by dirt under the main floor of the Robinson building. In 2017, during the demolition phase of the Robinson building rehabilitation, workers discovered the sign. The Robinson building, at 1621 Main Street is the new home of The Grand on Main, a fine restaurant, bar, and boutique bowling venue in Downtown Columbia. The old sign had presumably been placed in its resting spot when the theater ceased operations in 1914. The Robinson building, one of the oldest structures on Main Street, was constructed in 1866, just one year after the end of the Civil War.


When the sign was found it was instantly recognized for its historic significance. The construction crew immediately took steps to protect it from further damage and deterioration. Carolina Restoration, hired In December 2017, took the lead in conservation efforts to stabilize and prepare the sign for eventual display within The Grand on Main.


Managing Partner for Carolina Conservation, Ben Umberger, recently had some exciting news about the conservation effort. Ben said, “We recently consulted with the conservators on the Hunley submarine project in Charleston in coming up with some stabilization ideas for the rusted components. The Hunley team is world-class and excited about helping out on this project.”


The owners and developers of The Grand on Main are looking forward to the completion of the sign restoration and its display within the restored Robinson building. The restoration of this historic sign will offer an opportunity to view an authentic relic from the entertainment industry during the turn of the century Main Street.

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  4. The Grand on Main Wins Award Joe Nester 09-May-2018
  5. A Grand Old Sign Joe Nester 06-May-2018
  6. The Grand on Main Ribbon Cutting Joe Nester 12-Jan-2018
  7. The Grand on Main Street Ribbon Cutting Joe Nester 09-Jan-2018
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