Main Street Scavenger Hunt - WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!

  1. Bin W. - Dual/Family Membership to the Columbia Museum of Art
  2. Glenna B. - $90 gift certificate to the Columbia Art Center for a class or workshop
  3. Jacob B. - two tickets to Riverbanks Zoo & Garden for daily admission or zoo lights

Upcoming Special Events:

Preservation Bike Ride

Saturday, September 22nd, 9a.m.-12p.m., Starts at the 1600 block of Laurel (behind Hampton-Preston property)

Photo of bicyclists on Main StreetJoin preservationists from the City of Columbia for a leisurely ride through time as we explore preservation, history, and planning in the capital city! Did you know that the 1700 block of Blanding and Laurel Streets once included over 30 houses for railroad workers? Or that the construction of the Babcock Building followed progressive theories of mental health treatment known as the “Kirkbride System”? Join us to learn about this and more in a family friendly tour through Columbia, including stops at Main Street, West Gervais, and the Bull Street Campus. The ride will be at an easy pace but may include hills and, although the tour will largely follow secondary roads, riders should be comfortable riding on streets open to vehicular traffic. 

The event is free, but registration is required - please register by emailing [email protected].  The ride is limited to 25 participants.

Historic Melrose Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, September 16th, 1:30p.m.- 3p.m., Starts at Melrose Park (corner of Senate and Fairview)

Photo of Melrose Heights neighborhood entrance signThe beautiful neighborhood of Historic Melrose was developed between the years 1900 and 1950 as one of Columbia’s first suburbs. Today, the neighborhood retains a diverse range of architectural styles and details that contribute to the overall charm that has kept it a desirable place to live for over 100 years. This September, in collaboration with the City of Columbia, the Melrose Neighborhood Association invites you and your family out for a fun-filled afternoon in a neighborhood-wide scavenger hunt! The architectural scavenger hunt is designed for families to provide a chance to learn about architecture and look at buildings in a new and fun way. This family friendly event is free and open to the public and includes the opportunity to win prizes!

Historic Preservation

Photo of exterior building renovation along Main Street in downtown ColumbiaThe City of Columbia Planning Department is responsible for historic preservation activities within the City.  The Historic Preservation Division of the Department is responsible for the administration of the City's historic preservation ordinance, which provides certain kinds of legal protection for buildings, districts, and sites that have been declared historic by City Council.  The City of Columbia has over 160 individual landmarks.

The Division is also response for developing awareness of Columbia's rich historical beginnings, which started in 1786 when Columbia became the first planned capital in the new nation.  Additionally, the Division raises awareness of how historic materials can be preserved through workshops and educational events.

The Historic Preservation Division is in charge of approving Certificates of Design Approval (CDAs) for alterations to historic buildings and sites.  The design review process for Columbia's historic districts and design districts is administered by the Design/Development Review Commission (D/DRC) and the design review staff.  All projects come directly to staff for consultation first.  Staff may then direct the applicant as to whether the project can be approved at the staff level, or must be channeled through the Commission according to City Ordinance.

If you have questions, please contact the staff representative for your district.  

Preservation Newsletter

If you would like to sign up to receive the preservation newsletter, please email [email protected].  Past newsletters are available below.