Founded in 1998, the City of Columbia Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has been a leading force for the preservation of historic properties and the upcycling, salvaging and repurposing of unique historical building treasures for use in contemporary structures. They have an on-call salvage team to remove items from historic structures that are slated for demolition and collect and store items for later public sale. They also consult with citizens wanting to maintain and rehabilitate their historic properties.
With their multi-faceted mission the HPC devotes hundreds of hours to their task. One of their most exceptional projects involved organizing 60+ volunteers for a five year process of rescuing 19,000 lbs. of historic building materials from James Condominium and a dozen other structures, which culminated in a September 2016 sale at Rock Quarry Park. With more than 200 shoppers in attendance and dozens of doors, door knobs, windows, stoves, tin ceilings, radiators and much more, it was clear that the HPC had done something very special: making the old new and giving individuals the ability to purchase historic building materials for numerous other projects in town. In a sense, theirs is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, HPC!
Written by volunteer Elizabeth Miller.