2019-01-11 / Society

Historic sign to be unveiled at The Grand on Main

Contributed by S.C. Press Association

On Thursday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m., at 1621 Main Street in Columbia, 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 workmen 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.”

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