Less Traveled

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Hidden in plain sight: Columbia’s Old Shandon neighborhood

Posted 8/2/2012 6:00:00 AM

For folks who live in or around Columbia, we get to see the Shandon neighborhood all the time. Either we’re driving through it or visiting friends or restaurants and businesses there, or maybe we even live there ourselves.

But many of us know very little about the history or the architecturally distinct homes built there.

To help educate us, the Historic Columbia Foundation is offering a guided walking tour of the Old Shandon District that is on the National Register of Historic Places

The area comprises 37 acres and was an early 20th century “suburb” of Columbia, offering residents the amenities of downtown with expansive lots more commonly found in rural areas.

The area is bounded roughly by Harden Street on the west, Wheat Street on the south, Maple Street on the east and Santee/Cypress on the north.

The housing styles include Queen Anne two-story homes, noted for their bay windows and other decorative touches, and Craftsman bungalow-style homes with their low-pitched roofs and Prairie-style from the Frank Lloyd Wright school of design.

The hourlong tour is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 12, and tickets can be ordered in advance by calling (803) 252-1770, ext. 24 or by emailing to reservations@historiccolumbia.org. You also can register on the day of the tour at the Wheatley Branch of the Richland County Public Library at 931 Woodrow St.

The tour is free for Historic Columbia Foundation members, $6 for adults and $3 for children 17 and younger. The foundation recommends not bringing children younger than 8 as they might not enjoy the tour. The walk is about a mile, but those who need walkers or other aids might have difficulty because the sidewalks in Old Shandon are not in pristine shape.

If you can’t make it on Aug. 12, the Historic Columbia Foundation offers self-guided tour brochures at its Museum Shop (1616 Blanding St.) or you can click on the Retrace Columbia icon on its website to take virtual tours complete with old photos.