The Grand to Unveil 105 Year Old Historic Sign

Joe Nester - Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Historic Sign to be Unveiled at The Grand on Main


On Thursday, January 17, 2019, @ 6:30 PM, at 1621 Main Street, the original “Grand Theatre” sign will be revealed to the public for the first time in 105 years. The reveal will be part of The Grand on Main first anniversary celebration.

The sign, lying in the dark and partially covered by dirt and debris, was discovered by workman during renovations of the circa 1866, Robinson Building. The sign was found underneath the floor and most likely had been placed there in 1914 when the Vaudeville style theatre closed its doors after being in operation between 1909 & 1914.

“It was an exciting find.” Stated Greg Middleton, Developer for the project. “The old sign became our inspiration for naming the new restaurant and boutique bowling venue, The Grand on Main. The sign provides a window into the past where entertainment and culture were a part of Columbia’s Main Street.” Said Middleton.

Carolina Conservation in Irmo was chosen for the sign restoration project with a goal of preserving as much of the original structure and character as possible. Ben Umberger, managing Partner, for Carolina conservation stated, “Conservation is all about stabilizing and preserving items with historical and cultural value for future generations. We had the privilege during the restoration of consulting with conservators from the H. L. Hunley submarine project in Charleston who helped with ideas for stabilization of the rusted components.”

The Grand on Main Wins Award

Joe Nester - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Grand on Main wins Adaptive Use Award for Robinson Building Project

Each May in conjunction with National Preservation Month, Historic Columbia presents preservation awards that celebrate the accomplishments of local property owners. On May 3, Historic Columbia announced its 2018 Preservation Award recipients. Robin Waites, Historic Columbia’s Executive Director stated, “While we can use our research and experience to craft the case for preservation – these leaders in preservation are the ones who provide the financial, creative and sweat equity to make the advocacy worth it.”

The Grand on Main, was the proud recipient of an Adaptive Use Award for its renovation of the Robinson Building at 1621 Main Street. According to Historic Columbia, Adaptive Use, is described as “Structures rehabilitated with sensitivity to the historic fabric that function in a way that is different from its original intent.”

The Grand on Main, which held its official ribbon cutting on January 10, 2018, is a premier entertainment destination for locals and visitors alike to Columbia’s vibrant new Main Street District. Seven boutique bowling lanes, a full menu including an express-lunch, self-pour taproom, gaming lounges and a Grand Plaza are all features within this exciting new venue.

Greg Middleton, developer for the project and Sara Middleton, legal counsel, son and daughter of G. Scott Middleton, were in attendance to accept the award. Greg upon arriving and seeing the itinerary was initially surprised to see 1633 – 1635 Main Street and for a minute thought Historic Columbia had made a mistake with the address of the Robinson project. Later, laughing when he found out there were multiple Main Street businesses who had won awards, stated, “It is an amazing testimony to the growth and vibrancy of the Main Street corridor to see multiple projects win awards in the same year.”

Sara, when asked what the award meant to her, turned to the words of Marcus Garvey, who said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.” Sara went on to say “Columbia is a city with roots - deep and wide, and we feel honored to have played this small, but grand part in ensuring Columbia’s historical roots stay strong and visible. This is what Historic Columbia is all about and we are immensely grateful to have received this monumental award and to be a part of their mission.”

1621 Main Street, The Grand/Robinson Building

Owner: G. Scott Middleton
Architect: Lambert Architecture
Contractor: Mashburn Construction

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