Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Encyclopedia
Columbia is the state capital and largest city in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

. The population was 129,272 according to the 2010 census. Columbia is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Richland County
Richland County, South Carolina
Richland County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The 2000 U.S. census recorded its population to be 320,677. In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded that its population had reached 384,504. It is the second most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville...

, but a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. The city is the center of a metropolitan statistical area of 767,598, the largest within the state. The name Columbia was a poetic term for the Americas derived from Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

.

Located 13 miles (21 km) northwest of South Carolina's geographic center, Columbia is the primary city of the Midlands
Midlands, South Carolina
The Midlands roughly refers to an area in the middle of South Carolina. Columbia is the largest city in the region and location of the state government...

 region of South Carolina, which comprises several counties in the central portion of the state. The city lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Saluda
Saluda River
The Saluda River is a principal tributary of the Congaree River, about 200 mi long, in northern and western South Carolina in the United States...

 and the Broad
Broad River (Carolinas)
The Broad River is a principal tributary of the Congaree River, about 150 miles long, in western North Carolina and northern South Carolina in the United States. Via the Congaree, it is part of the watershed of the Santee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean...

, which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River
Congaree River
The Congaree River is a short but wide river in South Carolina in the United States; It flows for only 47 miles . The river serves an important role as the final outlet channel for the entire Lower Saluda and Lower Broad watersheds, before merging with the Wateree River just north of Lake Marion to...

. CNNMoney.com named Columbia as one of America's 25 best places to retire, and US News & World Report ranked the city sixth on its 2009 America's Best Affordable Places to Retire list.

Early history


From the creation of Columbia by the South Carolina General Assembly
South Carolina General Assembly
The South Carolina General Assembly, also called the South Carolina Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of South Carolina. The legislature is bicameral and consists of the lower South Carolina House of Representatives and the upper South Carolina Senate. Altogether, the General...

 in 1786, the site of Columbia was important to the overall development of the state. The Congarees, a frontier fort on the west bank of the Congaree River
Congaree River
The Congaree River is a short but wide river in South Carolina in the United States; It flows for only 47 miles . The river serves an important role as the final outlet channel for the entire Lower Saluda and Lower Broad watersheds, before merging with the Wateree River just north of Lake Marion to...

, was the head of navigation in the Santee River
Santee River
The Santee River is a river in South Carolina in the United States, long. The Santee and its tributaries provide the principal drainage and navigation for the central coastal plain of South Carolina, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean approximately from its farthest headwater on the Catawba River...

 system. A ferry was established by the colonial government in 1754 to connect the fort with the growing settlements on the higher ground on the east bank.

Like many other significant early settlements in colonial America, Columbia is on the fall line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

 from the Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

. The fall line is the spot where rivers usually become unnavigable when sailing upstream, and is also the spot farthest downstream where falling water can usefully power a mill.

State Senator John Lewis Gervais
John Lewis Gervais
John Lewis Gervais was an American planter and statesman from South Carolina. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1783....

 of Ninety Six introduced a bill that was approved by the legislature on March 22, 1786, to create a new state capital. There was considerable argument over the name for the new city. (UTC)According to published accounts, Senator Gervais said he hoped that "in this town we should find refuge under the wings of COLUMBIA", for that was the name which he wished it to be called. One legislator insisted on the name Washington, but Columbia won out by a vote of 11-7 in the state senate.


The site was chosen as the new state capital in 1786, due to its central location in the state. The State Legislature first met there in 1790. After remaining under the direct government of the legislature for the first two decades of its existence, Columbia was incorporated as a village in 1805 and then as a city in 1854.

Columbia received a large stimulus to development when it was connected in a direct water route to Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

, by the Santee Canal
Santee Canal
The Santee Canal was one of the earliest canals built in the United States. It was built to provide a direct water route between Charleston and Columbia, the new South Carolina state capital.- History :...

. This canal connected the Santee and Cooper Rivers in a 22 miles (35.4 km) section. It was first chartered in 1786 and completed in 1800, making it one of the earliest canals in the United States. With increased railroad traffic, it ceased operation around 1850.

The commissioners designed a town of 400 blocks in a two-mile (3 km) square along the river. The blocks were divided into lots of 0.5 acres (2,023.4 m²) and sold to speculators and prospective residents. Buyers had to build a house at least 30 feet (9.1 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide within three years or face an annual 5% penalty. The perimeter streets and two through streets were 150 feet (45.7 m) wide. The remaining squares were divided by thoroughfares 100 feet (30.5 m) wide. The width was determined by the belief that dangerous and pesky mosquito
Mosquito
Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae . The word Mosquito is from the Spanish and Portuguese for little fly...

es could not fly more than 60 feet (18.3 m) without dying of starvation along the way. Columbians still enjoy most of the magnificent network of wide streets.

The commissioners comprised the local government until 1797 when a Commission of Streets and Markets was created by the General Assembly. Three main issues occupied most of their time: public drunkenness, gambling, and poor sanitation.

As one of the first planned cities in the United States, Columbia began to grow rapidly. Its population was nearing 1,000 shortly after the turn of the century.

Nineteenth century



In 1801, South Carolina College (now known as the University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

) was founded in Columbia. The original building for the College survives to this day, as part of the University of South Carolina. The city was chosen as the site of the institution in part to unite the state's citizens in the Upcountry and the Lowcountry. Additionally, beyond simply uniting the elite youths from the two separate regions, the founding of the College was intended to keep the youths out of England, as South Carolina at the time sent more students to England than any other state. An added incentive to locate the college in Columbia was that, as lots of properties were not selling as fast as intended in Columbia, the original land for the College was set aside. Also, the leaders of South Carolina wished to personally monitor the progress and development of the school. One result of this desire was that, for many years after its founding, commencement exercises were held in December while the state legislature was in session.

Columbia received its first charter as a town in 1805. An intendant and six wardens would govern the town. John Taylor was the first elected intendant. He later served in both houses of the General Assembly, both houses of Congress, and eventually as governor of the state. By 1816, there were 250 homes in the town and a population over 1,000. Columbia became chartered as a city in 1854, with an elected mayor and six aldermen. Two years later, they had a police force consisting of a full-time chief and nine patrolmen. The city continued to grow at a rapid pace, and throughout the 1850s and 1860s Columbia was the largest inland city in the Carolinas
The Carolinas
The Carolinas is a term used in the United States to refer collectively to the states of North and South Carolina. Together, the two states + have a population of 13,942,126. "Carolina" would be the fifth most populous state behind California, Texas, New York, and Florida...

. Railroad transportation served as a significant cause of population expansion in Columbia during this time. Rail lines that reached the city in the 1840s primarily transported cotton bales, not passengers. Cotton was the lifeblood of the Columbia community; in 1850 virtually all of the city's commercial and economic activity was related to cotton.

"In 1830, approximately 1,500 slaves lived and worked in Columbia; this population grew to 3,300 by 1860. Some members of this large enslaved population worked in their masters’ households. Masters also frequently hired out slaves to Columbia residents and institutions, including South Carolina College. Hired-out slaves sometimes returned to their owner’s home daily; others boarded with their temporary masters". During this period, "legislators developed state and local statutes to restrict the movement of urban slaves in hopes of preventing rebellion. Although various decrees established curfews and prohibited slaves from meeting and from learning to read and write, such rulings were difficult to enforce". Indeed, "several prewar accounts note that many Columbia slaves were literate; some slaves even conducted classes to teach others to read and write". As well, "many slaves attended services at local Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches, yet some struggled to obtain membership in these institutions".

Columbia's First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church (Columbia, South Carolina)
The First Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina is a Greek Revival building built in 1856. A convention met here on December 17, 1860 which voted unanimously for South Carolina to secede from the United States, leading to the American Civil War....

 hosted the South Carolina Secession Convention on December 17, 1860. The delegates drafted a resolution in favor of secession, 159-0. Columbia's location made it an ideal location for other conventions and meetings within the Confederacy. During the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, bankers, railroad executives, teachers, and theologians often met in the city to discuss certain matters.

On February 17, 1865, during the Civil War, much of Columbia was destroyed by fire while being occupied by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator and author. He served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War , for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched...

. According to legend, Columbia's First Baptist Church barely missed being torched by Sherman's troops. The soldiers marched up to the church and asked the groundskeeper if he could direct them to the church where the declaration of secession was signed. The loyal groundskeeper directed the men to the nearby Washington Street United Methodist church; thus, the historic landmark was saved from destruction by Union soldiers.

Controversy surrounding the burning of the city started soon after the war ended. General Sherman blamed the high winds and retreating Confederate soldiers for firing bales of cotton, which had been stacked in the streets. General Sherman denied ordering the burning, though he did order militarily significant structures, such as the Confederate Printing Plant, destroyed. Firsthand accounts by local residents, Union soldiers, and a newspaper reporter offer a tale of revenge by Union troops for Columbia's and South Carolina's pivotal role in leading Southern states to secede from the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

. Still other accounts portray it as mostly the fault of the Confederacy. Today, tourists can follow the path General Sherman's army took to enter the city and see structures or remnants of structures that survived the fire.

During Reconstruction, Columbia became the focus of considerable attention. Reporters, journalists, travelers, and tourists flocked to South Carolina's capital city to witness a Southern state legislature whose members included ex-slaves. The city also made somewhat of a rebound following the devastating fire of 1865; a mild construction boom took place within the first few years of Reconstruction, and repair of railroad tracks in outlying areas created jobs for area citizens.

Twentieth century


The first few years of the 20th century saw Columbia emerge as a regional textile manufacturing center. In 1907, Columbia had six mills in operation: Richland, Granby, Olympia, Capital City, Columbia, and Palmetto. Combined, they employed over 3,400 workers with an annual payroll of $819,000, giving the Midlands an economic boost of over $4.8 million. Columbia had no paved streets until 1908, when 17 blocks of Main Street were surfaced. There were, however, 115 publicly maintained street crossings at intersections to keep pedestrians from having to wade through a sea of mud between wooden sidewalks. As an experiment, Washington Street was once paved with wooden blocks. This proved to be the source of much local amusement when they buckled and floated away during heavy rains. The blocks were replaced with asphalt paving in 1925.

The years 1911 and 1912 were something of a construction boom for Columbia, with $2.5 million worth of construction occurring in the city. These projects included the Union Bank Building at Main and Gervais, the Palmetto National Bank, a shopping arcade, and large hotels at Main and Laurel (the Jefferson) and at Main and Wheat (the Gresham). In 1917, the city was selected as the site of Camp Jackson, a U.S. military installation which was officially classified as a "Field Artillery Replacement Depot." The first recruits arrived at the camp on September 1, 1917.

In 1930, Columbia was the hub of a trading area with approximately 500,000 potential customers. It had 803 retail establishments, 280 of them being food stores. There were also 58 clothing and apparel outlets, 57 restaurants and lunch rooms, 55 filling stations, 38 pharmacies, 20 furniture stores, 19 auto dealers, 11 shoe stores, nine cigar stands, five department stores and one book store. Wholesale distributors located within the city numbered 119, with one third of them dealing in food.

In 1934, the federal courthouse at the corner of Main and Laurel streets was purchased by the city for use as City Hall. Built of granite from nearby Winnsboro
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Winnsboro is a town in Fairfield County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,599 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Fairfield County. Winnsboro is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Columbia City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

. Designed by Alfred Built Millet, President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

's Federal architect, the building was completed in 1876. Millet, best known for his design of the Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, had originally designed the building with a clock tower. Large cost overruns probably caused it to be left out. Copies of Mullet's original drawings can be seen on the walls of City Hall alongside historic photos of Columbia's beginnings.

Reactivated Camp Jackson became Fort Jackson in 1940, giving the military installation the permanence desired by city leaders at the time. The fort was annexed into the city in the fall of 1968, with approval from the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

. In the early 1940s, shortly after the attacks on Pearl Harbor which began America's involvement in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle
Jimmy Doolittle
General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as a brigadier general, major general and lieutenant general in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War...

 and his group of now-famous pilots began training for the Doolittle Raid
Doolittle Raid
The Doolittle Raid, on 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike the Japanese Home Islands during World War II. By demonstrating that Japan itself was vulnerable to American air attack, it provided a vital morale boost and opportunity for U.S. retaliation after the...

 over Tokyo at what is now Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the main airport for Columbia, South Carolina. The airport lies five miles southwest of Columbia's central business district, in Lexington County.-Airlines and destinations:...

. They trained in B-25 Mitchell
B-25 Mitchell
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.The B-25 was named...

 bombers, the same model as the plane that now rests at Columbia's Owens Field in the Curtiss-Wright
Curtiss-Wright
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation was the largest aircraft manufacturer in the United States at the end of World War II, but has evolved to largely become a component manufacturer, specializing in actuators, aircraft controls, valves, and metalworking....

 hangar.
The area's population continued to grow during the 1950s, having experienced a 40 percent increase from 186,844 to 260,828, with 97,433 people residing within the city limits of Columbia.
The 1940s saw the beginning of efforts to reverse Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 and racial discrimination in Columbia. In 1945, a federal judge ruled that the city's black teachers were entitled to equal pay to that of their white counterparts. However, in years following, the state attempted to strip many blacks of their teaching credentials. Other issues in which the blacks of the city sought equality concerned voting rights and segregation (particularly regarding public schools). On August 21, 1962, eight downtown chain stores served blacks at their lunch counters for the first time. The University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

 admitted its first black students in 1963; around the same time, many vestiges of segregation began to disappear from the city, blacks attained membership on various municipal boards and commissions, and a non-discriminatory hiring policy was adopted by the city. These and other such signs of racial progression helped earn the city the 1964 All-America City Award
All-America City Award
The All-America City Award is given by the National Civic League annually to ten cities in the United States.The oldest community recognition program in the nation, the award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon...

 for the second time (the first being in 1951) and a 1965 article in Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

magazine lauded Columbia as a city that had "liberated itself from the plague of doctrinal apartheid."

Historic preservation has played a significant part in shaping Columbia into the city that it is today. The historic Robert Mills House
Robert Mills House
The Robert Mills House, also known as Robert Mills Historic House and Park or theAinsley Hall House, is a house in Columbia, South Carolina that was designed by Robert Mills ....

 was restored in 1967, which inspired the renovation and restoration of other historic structures such as the Hampton-Preston House and homes associated with President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, Maxcy Gregg
Maxcy Gregg
Maxcy Gregg was a lawyer, soldier in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War who was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg....

, Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Boykin Chesnut, born Mary Boykin Miller , was a South Carolina author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle." She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern planter society, but...

, and noted free black Celia Mann. In the early 1970s, the University of South Carolina initiated the refurbishment of its "Horseshoe". Several area museums also benefited from the increased historical interest of that time, among them the Fort Jackson Museum, the McKissick Museum on the campus of the University of South Carolina, and most notably the South Carolina State Museum
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. Positioned on an old shipping canal on the Congaree River that dates back to pre-Civil War times, the museum is widely recognized as a resource for South Carolina history...

, which opened in 1988.

Mayor Kirkman Finlay, Jr., was the driving force behind the refurbishment of Seaboard Park, now known as Finlay Park
Finlay Park
Finlay Park, at , is the largest and most visited park in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The park opened in 1991. Initially named Sidney Park, it was renamed after a former Columbia mayor Kirkman Finlay. In the park there is a scenic waterfall along with cascading mountain type stream falling...

, in the historic Congaree Vista district, as well as the compilation of the $60 million Palmetto Center package, which gave Columbia an office tower, parking garage, and the Columbia Marriott, which opened in 1983. The year 1980 saw the Columbia metropolitan population reach 410,088 and in 1990 this figure had hit approximately 470,000.

Recent history



The 1990s and early 2000s saw revitalization in the downtown area. The Congaree Vista district along Gervais Street, once known as a warehouse district, became a thriving district of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. The Colonial Life Arena (formerly known as the Carolina Center) opened in 2002, and brought several big-named concerts and shows to Columbia. The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center opened in 2004, and a new convention center hotel opened in September 2007. A public-private City Center Partnership has been formed to implement the downtown revitalization and boost downtown growth. Heritage buildings are being renovated and converted into combined retail and residential space. There is also work on renovating the old Nickelodeon Theatre by adding screens and enlarging the seating capacity, which will allow the theater to show more educational films. Heritage work is also being done on the old W.T. Grant store, which has a unique facade and brickwork. There are plans to convert the old Tapp's department store into an art studio.

Geography and climate


Columbia is located at 34°0′2"N 81°2′39"W. One of Columbia's most interesting geographical features is its fall line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

, which is a boundary between an upland region and a coastal plain across which rivers from the upland region drop to the plain as falls or rapids. Columbia grew up at the fall line of the Congaree River, which is formed by the convergence of the Broad River
Broad River (Carolinas)
The Broad River is a principal tributary of the Congaree River, about 150 miles long, in western North Carolina and northern South Carolina in the United States. Via the Congaree, it is part of the watershed of the Santee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean...

 and the Saluda River
Saluda River
The Saluda River is a principal tributary of the Congaree River, about 200 mi long, in northern and western South Carolina in the United States...

. The Congaree was the farthest inland point of river navigation. The energy of falling water also powered Columbia's early mills
Cotton mill
A cotton mill is a factory that houses spinning and weaving machinery. Typically built between 1775 and 1930, mills spun cotton which was an important product during the Industrial Revolution....

. The city has capitalized on this location which includes three rivers by christening itself "The Columbia Riverbanks Region". Columbia is located roughly halfway between the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

 and sits at an elevation of around 292 ft (89 m).

Soils in Columbia are well drained in most cases, with grayish brown loamy sand topsoil. The subsoil may be yellowish red sandy clay loam (Orangeburg series), yellowish brown sandy clay loam (Norfolk series), or strong brown sandy clay (Marlboro series). All belong to the Ultisol soil order.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 127.7 square miles (330.7 km²), of which 125.2 square miles (324.3 km²) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km²) is water (1.96%). Approximately 2/3 of Columbia's land area, 81.2 square miles (210.3 km²), is contained within the Fort Jackson Military Installation, much of which consists of uninhabited training grounds. The actual inhabited area for the city is slightly more than 50 square miles (129.5 km²).

Columbia has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cfa), with mild winters, warm springs and autumns, and very hot and humid summers. The area averages 56 nights below freezing, but extended cold is rare. The city's current promotional slogan describes Columbia as "Famously Hot". Precipitation, at 48.3 inches (1,226.8 mm) annually, peaks in the summer months, and is the least during spring and fall. Snowfall averages 2.1 inches (5.3 cm), but most years receive no snowfall, as the median seasonal amount is 0. The city, like other cities of the southeast, is prone to inversions, which trap ozone and other pollutants over the area.

The record low temperature is −2 °F (−19 °C), set on February 14, 1899. The record high temperature is 107 °F (42 °C), recorded several times, most recently on August 10, 2007.

Metropolitan area


The metropolitan statistical area of Columbia has a population estimate of 767,598 according to the 2010 Census.

Columbia is also combined with the Newberry
Newberry, South Carolina
Newberry is a city in Newberry County, South Carolina, 43 miles west -northwest of Columbia. The charter was adopted in 1894. In 1890, 3,020 people lived in Newberry, South Carolina; in 1900, 4,607; in 1910, 5,028; and in 1940, 7,510. The population was 10,580 at the 2000 census. It is the county...

 micropolitan area
United States micropolitan area
United States Micropolitan Statistical Areas , as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, are urban areas in the United States based around a core city or town with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. The micropolitan area designation was created in 2003...

 to form the Columbia–Newberry Combined Statistical Area
Combined Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

, which has 805,106 people according to the 2010 Census and is the second-largest and fastest-growing CSA in South Carolina.

Columbia's metropolitan counties include:
  • Richland County
    Richland County, South Carolina
    Richland County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The 2000 U.S. census recorded its population to be 320,677. In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau recorded that its population had reached 384,504. It is the second most populous county in South Carolina, behind only Greenville...

  • Lexington County
  • Fairfield County
  • Calhoun County
    Calhoun County, South Carolina
    Calhoun County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. In 2000, its population was 15,185; a 2005 Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 15,100. It is named for John C. Calhoun, the former U.S. Vice-President, Senator, Representative and cabinet member from South...

  • Kershaw County
  • Saluda County


Columbia's suburbs and environs include:
  • St. Andrews, Richland County
    St. Andrews, South Carolina
    St. Andrews is a census-designated place in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 21,814 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:St...

    : Pop. 20,493 (unincorporated)
  • Seven Oaks, Lexington County
    Seven Oaks, South Carolina
    Seven Oaks is a census-designated place in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States, 6 miles outside of Columbia. The population was 15,755 at the 2000 census...

    : Pop. 15,144 (unincorporated)
  • Lexington
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Lexington is a town in and the county seat of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 17,870 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Lexington is located at ....

    : Pop. 17,870
  • Dentsville, Richland County
    Dentsville, South Carolina
    Dentsville is a census-designated place in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 13,009 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

    : Pop. 14,062 (unincorporated)
  • West Columbia
    West Columbia, South Carolina
    West Columbia is a city in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 13,064 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area....

    : Pop. 14,988
  • Cayce, Lexington County
    Cayce, South Carolina
    Cayce is a city in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, along the Congaree River. The population was 12,150 at the 2000 census...

    : Pop. 12,528

  • Irmo
    Irmo, South Carolina
    Irmo is a town in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina and a suburb of Columbia. It is 12 miles outside of the city center of Columbia and is part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area...

    : Pop. 11,097
  • Forest Acres
    Forest Acres, South Carolina
    Forest Acres is an upscale city in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 10,558 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

    : Pop. 10,361
  • Woodfield, Richland County
    Woodfield, South Carolina
    Woodfield is a census-designated place in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 9,238 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Woodfield is located at ....

    : Pop. 9,303 (unincorporated)
  • Red Bank, Lexington County
    Red Bank, South Carolina
    Red Bank is a census-designated place in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,811 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area-Geography:...

    : Pop. 9,617 (unincorporated)
  • Oak Grove, Lexington County
    Oak Grove, South Carolina
    Oak Grove is a census-designated place in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,183 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

    : Pop.10,291 (unincorporated)
  • Camden
    Camden, South Carolina
    Camden is the fourth oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and is also the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was an estimated 7,103 in 2009...

    : Pop. 6,838
  • Lugoff, Kershaw County
    Lugoff, South Carolina
    Lugoff is a small census-designated place in Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,278 at the 2000 census. The population was nearly 85% rural in 2000...

    : Pop. 7,434 (unincorporated)


Law and government


The city of Columbia has a council-manager form of government. The mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 and city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 are elected every four years, with no term limit
Term limit
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for...

s. Elections are held in the spring of even numbered years. Unlike other mayors in council-manager systems, the Columbia mayor has the power to veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 ordinance
Local ordinance
A local ordinance is a law usually found in a municipal code.-United States:In the United States, these laws are enforced locally in addition to state law and federal law.-Japan:...

s passed by the council; vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the council. The council appoints a city manager
City manager
A city manager is an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council-manager form of city government. Local officials serving in this position are sometimes referred to as the chief executive officer or chief administrative officer in some municipalities...

 to serve as chief administrative officer. Steve Gantt is the current city manager. The current mayor is Steve Benjamin (D).

The city council consists of six members (four from districts and two at-large
At-Large
At-large is a designation for representative members of a governing body who are elected or appointed to represent the whole membership of the body , rather than a subset of that membership...

). The city council is responsible for making policies and enacting laws, rules, and regulations in order to provide for future community and economic growth, in addition to providing the necessary support for the orderly and efficient operation of city services.

At-Large
  • Tameika Isaac Devine
  • Daniel J. Rickenmann


Districts
  • 1: Sam Davis
  • 2: Brian DeQuincey Newman
  • 3: Belinda Gergel
  • 4: Leona Plaugh


See related article Past mayors of Columbia, South Carolina

The city's police force is the Columbia Police Department. The chief of police answers to the city manager. Presently, the chief of police is Randy Scott.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections
South Carolina Department of Corrections
The South Carolina Department of Corrections is the agency responsible for corrections in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It currently has about 6,000 employees and 23,000 inmates, in 28 institutions. The agency has its headquarters in Columbia....

, headquartered in Columbia, operates several correctional facilities in Columbia. They include the Broad River Correctional Institution
Broad River Correctional Institution
Broad River Correctional Institution is a South Carolina Department of Corrections state prison for men located in Columbia, South Carolina. The State of South Carolina execution chamber is located in Broad River....

, the Goodman Correctional Institution, the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution
Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution
Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution is a South Carolina Department of Corrections state prison for women in Columbia, South Carolina. The Women’s Reception and Evaluation Center, which processes all females entering SCDC, is in the prison....

, the Stevenson Correctional Institution, and the Campbell Pre-Release Center. Graham houses the state's female death row. The State of South Carolina execution chamber is located at Broad River. From 1990 to 1997, Broad River housed the state's male death row.

Military Installations

  • Fort Jackson

Fort Jackson is the U.S. Army's largest training post.
  • McEntire Joint National Guard Station
    McEntire Joint National Guard Station
    McEntire Joint National Guard Base or McEntire JNGB is a military airport located in Richland County, South Carolina, United States, 10 miles west of the town of Eastover and approximately 15 miles southeast of the city of Columbia. It is owned by the U.S...


Under command of the South Carolina Air National Guard.

Colleges and universities


Columbia is home to the main campus of the University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

, which was chartered in 1801 as South Carolina College and in 1906 as the University of South Carolina. The university has 350 degree programs and enrolls more than 27,500 students throughout 15 degree-granting colleges and schools. It is an urban university, located in downtown Columbia.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has designated the university a research institution of "very high research activity". The school also has a world-renowned international business program, ranking number 1 in the nation for its undergraduate international business program and number 2 for its graduate international business program in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

 college and graduate school guides. The University of South Carolina's University 101 program is also frequently cited by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top programs of its kind in the nation. The university is also home to the nation’s first National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells.

As part of a new initiative geared towards making the University of South Carolina a world-class research and technology school, the university is building Innovista
Innovista
Innovista is the University of South Carolina's research campus. The plan behind Innovista was made public in 2005, with the intention that the site would be a center for research on hydrogen and other technologies, and a magnet for private companies building spin-off products.Innovista has...

, a unique "innovation district" located between the campus' core and the banks of the Congaree River. Innovista's goal is to be a standard-setting environment that draws its vibrancy from integrating public and private sector research and researchers with retail, restaurant, residential, and recreational facilities contained within a contemporary urban landscape.

Columbia is also home to:
  • Allen University
    Allen University
    -External links:* -- Official web site...

     - Allen University was founded in 1870 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church
    African Methodist Episcopal Church
    The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the...

    . Allen University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award baccalaureate degrees.
  • Benedict College
    Benedict College
    Benedict College is a historically black, liberal arts college located in Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1870 by northern Baptists, it was originally a teachers' college. It has since expanded into a four-year college.-History:...

     - Founded in 1870, Benedict is an independent coeducational college. Benedict is one of the fastest growing of the 39 United Negro College Fund
    United Negro College Fund
    The United Negro College Fund is an American philanthropic organization that fundraises college tuition money for black students and general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black colleges and universities. The UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson , Mary...

     schools. In addition to an increase in enrollment, Benedict has also seen an increase in average SAT scores, Honors College enrollee rates, capital giving dollars, and the number of research grants awarded. Recently, Benedict has been subject to a series of recent controversies, including basing up to 60 percent of grades solely on effort, which have nearly resulted in its losing its accreditation
    Accreditation
    Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.Organizations that issue credentials or certify third parties against official standards are themselves formally accredited by accreditation bodies ; hence they are sometimes known as "accredited...

    . However, in recent months the college has improved its financial standing and is seeking to boost its enrollment.
  • Columbia College
    Columbia College (Columbia, South Carolina)
    Columbia College is a private liberal arts women's college in Columbia, South Carolina. The school is affiliated with United Methodist Church and has more than 1,500 students...

     - Founded in 1854, Columbia College is a private, four-year, liberal arts college for women with a coeducational Evening College and Graduate School. The College has been ranked since 1994 by U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

     as one of the top ten regional liberal arts colleges in the South.
  • Columbia International University
    Columbia International University
    Columbia International University is a Christian institution of higher education located in Columbia, South Carolina. The university is recognized for its emphasis upon spiritual formation, biblical authority and world evangelization.-History:...

     - Columbia International University is a biblically based, private Christian institution committed to "preparing men and women to know Christ and to make Him known."
  • Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
    Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
    Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary , located in Columbia, South Carolina is a theological seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America offering first and second professional theological degrees.-History:...

     - This institution, founded in 1830, is a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of December 31, 2009, it had 4,543,037 baptized members, with 2,527,941 of them...

    . One of the oldest Lutheran seminaries in North America, Southern is a fully accredited graduate school of theology preparing women and men for the ordained and lay ministries of the church. The wooded 17 acres (68,796.6 m²) campus is situated atop Seminary Ridge in Columbia, the highest point in the Midlands area, near the geographic center of the city.
  • Midlands Technical College
    Midlands Technical College
    Midlands Technical College, is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving the primary region of Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina....

     - Midlands Tech is part of the South Carolina Technical College System
    South Carolina Technical College System
    The South Carolina Technical College System is a statewide network of 16 technical colleges in South Carolina. It also includes the Center for Accelerated Technology Training, or CATT. The System is run by the SC State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. It provides learning...

    . It is a two-year, comprehensive, public, community college, offering a wide variety of programs in career education, four-year college-transfer options, and continuing education. Small classes, individualized instruction, and student support services are provided. Most of the college's teaching faculty holds master's or doctoral degrees.
  • Fortis College - Fortis College is part of the Educational Affiliates Inc, and offers many different career-based degrees.
  • Remington College
    Remington College
    Remington College is an affiliated group of privately owned non-profit post-secondary educational institutions. Remington Colleges, Inc. operates 20 campuses in several US states. Some of the affiliated institutions have been in operation since the 1940s. It is a for-profit college...

     - Remington College opened in March 2009 and started its first class of diploma-seeking students on May 26, 2009.
  • South Carolina School of Leadership - Established in 2006, South Carolina School of Leadership (SCSL) is a post-secondary "gap year
    Gap year
    An expression or phrase that is associated with taking time out to travel in between life stages. It is also known as sabbatical, time off and time out that refers to a period of time in which students disengage from curricular education and undertake non curricular activities, such as travel or...

    " school with an intense focus on Christian discipleship and leadership development. SCSL uses curriculum from Valley Forge Christian College
    Valley Forge Christian College
    Valley Forge Christian College is a four-year, residential college centrally located in southeastern Pennsylvania, minutes from Valley Forge National Historical Park. Nestled in the small town of Phoenixville, major metropolitan areas are within easy driving distance...

    .


Columbia is also the site of several extension campuses, including those for Erskine Theological Seminary
Erskine Theological Seminary
Erskine Theological Seminary is an institution of graduate theological and pastoral education. The Seminary is based in Due West, South Carolina, United States, and also offers classes at four extension sites in the region: Augusta, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina and...

, South University
South University
South University is a proprietary university owned by Education Management Corporation with programs in business, health care, design, and legal and criminal justice, operating at locations in Savannah, Georgia; Round Rock, Texas; Columbia, South Carolina; Montgomery, Alabama; Novi, Michigan; Glen...

, and the University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

.

Private schools


Public schools

  • Richland County School District One
    Richland County School District One
    Richland County School District One , is a school district with its headquarters in the Stevenson Administration Building in Columbia, South Carolina....

  • Richland County School District Two
    Richland County School District Two
    Richland County School District Two is a nationally recognized school district located in suburban Columbia, South Carolina, United States, in the northeast section of Richland County. It is one of the fastest growing districts in South Carolina, with a current student population of over 24,000...

  • Lexington County School District One
  • Lexington County School District Two
  • Lexington & Richland County School District Five
    Lexington & Richland County School District Five
    School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties is a South Carolina school district encompassing a land area of approximately 196 square miles, roughly half of which is situated in each of Lexington and Richland Counties. Student enrollment is at 16,717 as of August 2005...


Health Systems


The Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine (CSA) Health System. The non-profit organization is licensed for 304 beds and comprises four entities: Providence Hospital, Providence Heart Institute, Providence Hospital Northeast, and Providence Orthopaedic & NeuroSpine Institute. Providence Hospital, located in downtown Columbia, was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine in 1938. The facility offers cardiac care through Providence Heart Institute, which is considered a quality cardiac center in South Carolina. Providence Hospital Northeast is a 46-bed community hospital established in 1999 that offers a range of medical services in surgery, emergency care, women's and children's services, and rehabilitation. Providence Northeast is home to Providence Orthopaedic & NeuroSpine Institute, which provides medical and surgical treatment of diseases and injuries of the bones, joints, and spine.

Palmetto Health is a South Carolina nonprofit public benefit corporation consisting of Palmetto Health Richland
Palmetto Health Richland
Palmetto Richland System is composed of two separate hospital systems which formed in the late 1990s when the Richland Memorial and Baptist systems joined to form Palmetto Health....

 and Palmetto Health Baptist hospitals in Columbia. Palmetto Health provides health care for nearly 70 percent of the residents of Richland County and almost 55 percent of the health care for both Richland and Lexington counties. Palmetto Health Baptist recently underwent a $40 million multi-phase modernization which included 37000 square feet (3,437.4 m²) of new construction and 81000 square feet (7,525.1 m²) of renovations. The extensive health system also operates Palmetto Health Children's Hospital and Palmetto Health Heart Hospital
Palmetto Health Richland
Palmetto Richland System is composed of two separate hospital systems which formed in the late 1990s when the Richland Memorial and Baptist systems joined to form Palmetto Health....

, the state's first freestanding hospital dedicated solely to heart care, which opened in January 2006. The Palmetto Health South Carolina Cancer Center offers patient services at the Palmetto Health Baptist and Palmetto Health Richland campuses; both are recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Network Cancer Program.

Lexington Medical Center is a network of hospitals—urgent care centers that are all located throughout Lexington County, South Carolina. There are currently six urgent care centers located in Lexington, Irmo, Batesburg-Leesville, Swansea, and Gilbert. The main hospital is in West Columbia. LMC opened in 1971 but quickly grew into a large center that has been growing every year since its opening. Currently, the main center offers an array of services from emergency treatments to the upcoming heart center.

The Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center is a 216-bed facility, encompassing acute medical, surgical, psychiatric, and long-term care. The hospital provides primary, secondary, and some tertiary care. An affiliation is held with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, located on the hospital grounds. A sharing agreement is in place with Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson and the 20th Medical Group at Shaw AFB
Shaw Air Force Base
Shaw Air Force Base is a United States Military facility located approximately west-northwest of Sumter, South Carolina. It is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command...

 in Sumter.

Mass transit


The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority
Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority
The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority is the operator of mass transportation in Richland and Lexington Counties in South Carolina. Eighteen standard, all-day routes serve metropolitan Columbia, while eight peak hour routes and one weekend special are also operated by the transit...

 (CMRTA), is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in the greater Columbia area including Cayce
Cayce, South Carolina
Cayce is a city in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, along the Congaree River. The population was 12,150 at the 2000 census...

, West Columbia
West Columbia, South Carolina
West Columbia is a city in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 13,064 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Forest Acres, Arcadia Lakes, Springdale
Springdale, Lexington County, South Carolina
Springdale is a town in Lexington County, South Carolina, in the United States. The population was 2,877 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.1226835-Geography:...

, and the St. Andrews area. CMRTA operates express shuttles, as well as bus service serving Columbia and its immediate suburbs. The authority was established in October 2002 after SCANA released ownership of public transportation back to the City of Columbia. Since 2003, CMRTA provides transportation for more than 2 million passengers, has expanded route services, and introduced 43 new ADA accessible buses offering a safer, more comfortable means of transportation. CMRTA has also added 10 natural gas powered buses to the fleet.

The Central Midlands Council of Governments is in the process of investigating the potential for rail transit in the region. Routes into downtown Columbia originating from Camden, Newberry, and Batesburg-Leesville are in consideration, as is a potential line between Columbia and Charlotte connecting the two mainlines of the future Southeastern High Speed Rail Corridor.

Roads and Highways


Columbia's central location between the population centers of South Carolina has made it a transportation focal point with three interstate highways and one interstate spur.

Interstates

  • I-26
    Interstate 26 in South Carolina
    Interstate 26 is a South Carolina Interstate highway running generally east–west to U.S. Route 17 in the Atlantic Coast at Charleston, South Carolina to Landrum in Spartanburg County.-Route description:...

      Interstate 26 travels from northwest to southeast and connects Columbia to the other two major population centers of South Carolina: the Greenville-Spartanburg area in the northwestern part of the state and North Charleston
    North Charleston, South Carolina
    North Charleston is the 3rd largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina with incorporated areas in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties. On June 12, 1972 the city of North Charleston incorporated and was the 9th largest city in South Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, North...

     - Charleston area in the southeastern part of the state. It also serves the nearby towns and suburbs of Chapin, Irmo, Harbison, Gaston, and Swansea.
  • I-20
    Interstate 20 in South Carolina
    Interstate 20 is a major thoroughfare cutting across the state of South Carolina, linking the state with important transportation and business hubs to the north, west and south, including Atlanta, Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina , Savannah, Georgia and Washington, D.C...

      Interstate 20 travels from west to east and connects Columbia to Atlanta and Augusta in the west and Florence in the east. It serves the nearby towns and suburbs of Pelion, Lexington, West Columbia, Sandhill, Pontiac, and Elgin. Interstate 20 is also used by travelers heading to Myrtle Beach, although the interstate's eastern terminus is in Florence.
  • I-77
    Interstate 77 in South Carolina
    Interstate 77 is a north - south interstate highway, extending in the state of South Carolina, extending from the national southern terminus at an interchange with Interstate 26 near Columbia, north to the North Carolina state line near Rock Hill and Charlotte, NC.-Route description:Interstate 77...

      Interstate 77 begins at a junction with Interstate 26 south of Columbia and travels north to Rock Hill and Charlotte. This interstate also provides direct access to Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army's largest training base and one of Columbia's largest employers. It serves the nearby towns and suburbs of Forest Acres, Gadsden, and Blythewood.
  • I-126
    Interstate 126
    Interstate 126 is a spur route of Interstate 26, almost entirely within the city limits of Columbia, South Carolina in the United States. It runs 3.1 miles from I-26 just south of the junction with Interstate 20, eastward across the Broad River , and into downtown Columbia terminating at US 21/US...

      Interstate 126 begins downtown at Elmwood Avenue and travels west towards Interstate 26 and Interstate 20. It provides access to Riverbanks Zoo.

US Routes

  • U.S. 1
    U.S. Route 1 in South Carolina
    U.S. Route 1 traverses the state of South Carolina completely from southwest to north, passing through such cities as Columbia and Aiken. For much of its length through Richland County, US 1 is called Two Notch Road...

  • U.S. 21
    U.S. Route 21
    U.S. Route 21 is a north–south United States highway of , from Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina to Wytheville, Virginia.-South Carolina:...

  • U.S. 76
    U.S. Route 76
    U.S. Route 76 is an east–west United States highway that runs for from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.-Tennessee:...

  • U.S. 176
    U.S. Route 176
    U.S. Route 176 is a spur of U.S. Route 76. It currently runs for 229 miles from Goose Creek, South Carolina at U.S. Route 52 to Hendersonville, North Carolina at U.S. Route 25. It passes through the states of South Carolina and North Carolina. It goes through the cities of Spartanburg, South...

  • U.S. 321
    U.S. Route 321
    U.S. Route 321 is a spur of U.S. Route 21. It runs for 526 miles from South Carolina to Tennessee. The northern terminus of U.S. 321 is between Lenoir City and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at Interstate 40 exit 364, which is about 4 miles west of Interstate 40's junction with Interstate 75...

  • U.S. 378
    U.S. Route 378
    U.S. Route 378 is a spur of U.S. Route 78. It currently runs for 234 miles from Conway, South Carolina at U.S. Route 501 to Washington, Georgia at U.S. Route 78.-Route description:...


South Carolina State Highways

  • SC 12
  • SC 16
  • SC 48
  • SC 215
  • SC 262
  • SC 277
  • SC 555
    South Carolina Highway 555
    South Carolina Highway 555 is a state highway entirely in Richland County, that begins at SC 12 near Columbia and ends at US 21 near Sharp.-Route description:...

  • SC 760
  • SC 768

Air


The city and its surroundings are served by Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the main airport for Columbia, South Carolina. The airport lies five miles southwest of Columbia's central business district, in Lexington County.-Airlines and destinations:...

 (IATA:CAE; ICAO:KCAE). The airport itself is serviced by American Eagle
American Eagle Airlines
American Eagle Airlines is a brand name used by American Eagle Airlines, Inc. , based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Executive Airlines based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the operation of passenger air service as regional affiliates of American Airlines. All three airlines are wholly owned subsidiaries...

, Continental Express
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

, Delta
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, United Express
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, and US Airways Express
US Airways Express
US Airways Express is an airline brand name, rather than a fully certified airline, and as such, the US Airways Express name is used by several individually owned airlines or airline holding companies which provide regional airline and commuter service for US Airways.Operations are conducted from...

 airlines. In addition, the city is also served by the much smaller Owens Field
Columbia Owens Downtown Airport
Jim Hamilton - L.B. Owens Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located two nautical miles south of the central business district of Columbia, in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. In 2008, the airport was renamed in honor of former airport manager Jim Hamilton...

 located in the Rosewood neighborhood. It serves as the county airport for Richland County and offers general aviation
General aviation
General aviation is one of the two categories of civil aviation. It refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and regular cargo flights, both private and commercial. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to large, non-scheduled cargo jet flights...

.

Intercity rail


The city is served daily by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 station
Columbia (Amtrak station)
The Columbia Amtrak station, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is a passenger rail station served by an Amtrak passenger train, the Silver Star. The street address is 850 Pulaski Street, about three miles southeast of the downtown area...

, with the Silver Star
Silver Service
The Silver Service is a brand currently applied by Amtrak to two of its East Coast long-distance passenger trains operating between New York City and Miami:*Silver Meteor*Silver Star...

 trains connecting Columbia with New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Washington, DC, Savannah
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

, Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

, Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

, Tampa
Tâmpa
Tâmpa may refer to several villages in Romania:* Tâmpa, a village in Băcia Commune, Hunedoara County* Tâmpa, a village in Miercurea Nirajului, Mureş County* Tâmpa, a mountain in Braşov city...

, and Miami. The Amtrak station
Columbia (Amtrak station)
The Columbia Amtrak station, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is a passenger rail station served by an Amtrak passenger train, the Silver Star. The street address is 850 Pulaski Street, about three miles southeast of the downtown area...

 is located at 850 Pulaski St.

Intercity bus


Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 operates a station on Gervais Street, in the eastern part of downtown, providing Columbia with intercity bus transportation.

Downtown revitalization



The city of Columbia has recently accomplished a number of redevelopment projects and has several more planned. The historic Congaree Vista
Congaree Vista
Congaree Vista is a cosmopolitan section of Columbia, South Carolina, near the banks of the Congaree River, which was revitalized during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The section includes many small, high-class shops and restaurants, often in renovated warehouse buildings...

, a 1200 acres (5 km²) district running from the central business district toward the Congaree river, features a number of historic buildings that have been rehabilitated. Of note is the adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl...

 of the Confederate Printing Plant on Gervais and Huger, used to print Confederate bills during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The city cooperated with Publix
Publix
Publix Super Markets, Inc. is an American supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida.Founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins, it is an employee-owned, privately held corporation. Publix is currently ranked No. 86 on Fortune magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For 2010 and was ranked No...

 grocery stores to preserve the look. This won Columbia an award from the International Downtown Association. The Vista district is also where a new convention center Hilton
Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts founded by Conrad Hilton and now owned by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton hotels are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton Hotels became the first coast-to-coast...

 and a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse recently debuted. Other notable developments under construction and recently completed include high-end condos and townhomes, hotels, mixed-use structures, and the establishment of a retail corridor along Lady Street.

The older buildings lining the Vista's main drag, Gervais, now house art galleries, restaurants, unique shops, and professional office space. Near the end of Gervais is the South Carolina State Museum
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. Positioned on an old shipping canal on the Congaree River that dates back to pre-Civil War times, the museum is widely recognized as a resource for South Carolina history...

 and the EdVenture Children's Museum. Private student housing and some residential projects are going up nearby; the CanalSide development at the site of the old Central Correctional Institution, is the most high profile. At full build-out, the development will have 750 residential units and provides access to Columbia's waterfront. Lady Street between Huger and Assembly streets in the Vista and the Five Points neighborhood have undergone beautification projects, which mainly consisted of replacing curbs and gutters, and adding brick-paved sidewalks and angled parking.

Special revitalization efforts are being aimed at Main Street, which began seeing an exodus of department and specialty stores in the 1990s. The goal is to re-establish Main Street as a vibrant commercial and residential corridor, and the stretch of Main Street home to most businesses—from Gervais to Blanding streets—have been streetscaped in recent years. Notable developments recently completed along Main Street include an 18-story, $60 million tower at the high-profile corner of Main and Gervais streets and the renovation of the 1441 Main Street office building as the new Midlands headquarters for Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by assets and the largest bank by market capitalization. Wells Fargo is the second largest bank in deposits, home...

 Bank (formerly Wachovia
Wachovia
Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States based on total assets...

 Bank). Current developments include a new sanctuary for the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the relocation of the Nickelodeon theater, and the location of Mast General store in the historic Efird's building.

The Meridian building, a 17-story, $62 million office tower, was completed in 2004 and First Citizens Bank completed a $40 million, 170000 square feet (15,793.5 m²), nine-story headquarters tower at the corner of Main and Lady streets in 2006. The historic Palmetto Building, at the corner of Main and Washington streets, underwent renovations and re-opened its doors in July 2008 as a boutique, Sheraton Hotel
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is a hospitality ownership and management organization, headquartered in White Plains, New York. One of the world's largest hotel companies, it owns, operates, franchises and manages hotels, resorts, spas, residences, and vacation ownership properties...

, and directly across from it, the historic Republic National Bank Building on Washington Street was turned into meeting and banquet space for the Sheraton. On September 25, 2007, a new fountain and sculpture, located in Boyd Plaza in front of the Columbia Museum of Art at the corner of Main and Hampton streets downtown, was dedicated. The 25 feet (7.6 m) tall piece, entitled "Apollo's Cascade", was designed by famed sculptor Rodney Carroll and was commissioned using a leadership gift from the Colliers Keenan Real Estate Firm.

Economy


Columbia enjoys a diversified economy, with the major employers in the area being South Carolina state government, the Palmetto Health hospital system, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, Palmetto GBA, and the University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

. The corporate headquarters of Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 energy company, SCANA
SCANA
SCANA Corporation is a $9 billion Fortune 500 energy-based holding company, based in Cayce, South Carolina, whose businesses include regulated electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses...

, are located in the Columbia suburb of Cayce. Other major employers in the Columbia area include Fort Jackson, the U.S. Army's largest and most active initial entry training installation, Richland School District One, Humana/TriCare, and the United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service, Inc. , typically referred to by the acronym UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the...

, which operates its Southeastern Regional Hub at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the main airport for Columbia, South Carolina. The airport lies five miles southwest of Columbia's central business district, in Lexington County.-Airlines and destinations:...

. Major manufacturers such as Square D, CMC Steel, Spirax Sarco, Michelin
Michelin
Michelin is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands...

, International Paper
International Paper
International Paper Company is an American pulp and paper company, the largest such company in the world. It has approximately 59,500 employees, and it is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.-History:...

, Pirelli
Pirelli
Pirelli & C. SpA is a diverse multinational company based in Milan, Italy. The company, the world’s fifth largest tyre manufacturer, is present in over 160 countries, has 20 manufacturing sites around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers.Founded in Milan in 1872,...

 Cables, Honeywell
Honeywell
Honeywell International, Inc. is a major conglomerate company that produces a variety of consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments....

, Westinghouse Electric
Westinghouse Electric Company
Westinghouse Electric Company LLC is a nuclear power company, offering a wide range of nuclear products and services to utilities throughout the world, including nuclear fuel, service and maintenance, instrumentation and control and advanced nuclear plant designs...

, Harsco Track Tech, Trane
Trane
Trane Inc. is a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand and is the successor company to the American Standard Companies. It is a global provider of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and building management systems and controls under the Trane and American Standard brand names...

, Intertape Polymer Group, Union Switch & Signal
Union Switch & Signal
Union Switch and Signal was a supplier of railway signaling equipment, systems and services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As of January 1, 2009, US&S is known as Ansaldo STS USA.-History:...

, Solectron
Solectron
Solectron Corporation was a global electronics manufacturing company for original equipment manufacturers . It pioneered the electronics manufacturing services industry in 1977 and was a leader in the field...

, and Bose Corporation Technology have facilities in the Columbia area. There are over 70 foreign affiliated companies and fourteen Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies in the region. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the Columbia metropolitan statistical area as of 2008 was $30.08 billion, the highest among MSAs in the state.
Several companies have their global, continental, or national headquarters in Columbia, including Colonial Supplemental Insurance, the second-largest supplemental insurance company in the nation; the Ritedose Corporation, which provides a wide range of services to the pharmaceutical industry; AgFirst Farm Credit Bank
AgFirst
AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, provides funding and financial services to 20 Agricultural Credit Associations in 15 eastern states and Puerto Rico...

, the largest bank headquartered in the state with over $30 billion in assets (the non-commercial bank is part of the Farm Credit System
Farm Credit System
The Farm Credit System is a federally chartered network of cooperatives and related service organizations that lends to agricultural producers, rural homeowners, farm-related businesses, and agricultural, aquatic, and public utility cooperatives in the United States...

, the largest agricultural lending organization in the United States which was established by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in 1916); First Citizens bank, the largest state-based commercial bank; Nexsen Pruet
Nexsen Pruet
Nexsen Pruet, LLC is a large business law firm headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina.The firm ranked as the 217th largest American firm by the National Law Journal list of the largest 250 U.S. firms in 2010.- Offices :...

, LLC, a multi-specialty business law firm in the Carolinas; Spectrum Medical, an international medical software company; Wilbur Smith Associates, a full-service transportation and infrastructure consulting firm; and Nelson Mullins, a major national law firm.

Many reputable publications and institutes recognize the strength and potential of the city's economy. In Forbes 2009 "Best Places for Business and Careers" list, Columbia ranked 34th overall among the 200 large metropolitan areas ranked. A 2010 study of the best places for small businesses by Portfolio.com/Bizjournals ranked Columbia 12th of the nation's 100 largest metro areas. BusinessWeek ranked Columbia 14th on its 2010 "Forty Strongest U.S. Metro Economies" list. Columbia also ranked 14th in BusinessWeek magazine's 2009 list of the 40 strongest metro economies in the nation. Bizjournals ranked Columbia 25th of 105 medium-sized labor markets for young adult job seekers and 15th of 77 metropolitan areas in its "Jewels of the Sunbelt" ranking, which ranks cities according to "blend of comfortable lifestyle and warm weather". POLICOM, a company that specializes in studying the dynamics of local economies, placed the Columbia metropolitan region in the top 25th percentile among the 366 U.S. Census Bureau-designated metropolitan statistical areas nationwide (and first among metropolitan areas in the state) in its 2009 economic strength rankings.

Demographics


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of 2010, there were 129,272 people, 52,471 total households, and 22,638 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 928.6 people per square mile (358.5/km²). There were 46,142 housing units at an average density of 368.5 per square mile (142.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.07% White, 42.20% Black, 2.20% Asian, 0.25% Native American, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 1.50% from other races, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.30% of the population.

There were 45,666 households out of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.7% were married couples living together, 17.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were nonfamilies. 38.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 22.9% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,141, and the median income for a family was $39,589. Males had a median income of $30,925 versus $24,679 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $18,853. About 17.0% of families and 22.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under the age of 18 and 16.9% ages 65 or older.

Religion


Like most of the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 which is included in the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

, Columbia's population is largely dominated by members of Protestant denominations, the largest being the Southern Baptists, followed by Methodists. The rest of the population is distributed among other Protestant denominations as well as the Roman Catholic Church. There is a significant Episcopalian population in Columbia, including Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Trinity Episcopal, as the see city of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. The Greek Orthodox Church holds a large Greek Festival annually in September. There is a temple
Temple (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord, and they are considered by Church members to be the most sacred structures on earth. Upon completion, temples are usually open to the public for a short period of time...

 for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons
Mormons
The Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, a religion started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. A vast majority of Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a minority are members of other independent churches....

). There are three synagogues in Columbia, Beth Shalom (Conservative
Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

), Tree of Life Congregation (Reform
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

), and the Chabad Learning Shul(Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

), which are located within a few hundred yards of each other. There are also five mosques in the city. There is also one Hindu Temple in Columbia.

Famous natives and residents


Among the famous people and groups connected to Columbia are:
  • Actor Aziz Ansari
    Aziz Ansari
    Aziz Ansari is an American actor, writer, and stand-up comedian. He currently stars as Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recreation....

  • Actor Mike Colter
    Mike Colter
    Mike Colter is an American actor.He was born in Columbia, South Carolina and grew up in St. Matthews, South Carolina. He earned a bachelor's degree in theater from the University of South Carolina in 1999...

  • Actor Michael Flessas
    Michael Flessas
    Michael C. Flessas , is the birth name of actor Michael Flessas. Flessas' most notable film role was Angry Man in the Cannes Film Festival 2000 Palme d'Or winning film Dancer in the Dark directed by Danish film director Lars von Trier. Originally, the director himself considered playing the role...

     in Palme d'Or
    Palme d'Or
    The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

  • Actor Lee Thompson Young
    Lee Thompson Young
    Lee Thompson Young is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his teenage role as the title character on the Disney Channel television series The Famous Jett Jackson...

  • Actor Paul Benjamin
    Paul Benjamin
    Paul Benjamin is an American actor.Benjamin was born in Pelion, South Carolina. He made his film debut in 1969 as a bartender in Midnight Cowboy...

  • Actor Scott Holroyd
    Scott Holroyd
    -Biography:Holroyd was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1993 he graduated from AC Flora High School . He then went on to the University of South Carolina and graduated from there in 1998, where he received a B.A...

  • Actor Rob Huebel
    Rob Huebel
    Rob Huebel is an American actor, comedian and writer best known for his sketch comedy work on the MTV series Human Giant. He currently co-stars on the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital.-Early life:...

  • Actress Angell Conwell
    Angell Conwell
    Angell Conwell is an American actress.Conwell was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina and moved to Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 2. She attended Seven Oaks Elementary School in Columbia where she was the first African-American student body president. In 1994, she moved to Los Angeles to...

  • Actress Kristin Davis
    Kristin Davis
    Kristin Landen Davis is an American actress.She first rose to prominence and achieved fame for playing the role of Charlotte York Goldenblatt on HBO's Sex and the City. She has achieved success appearing in roles in film and television.-Early life and education:Davis was born in Boulder, Colorado...

  • Actress Kelsey Chow
    Kelsey Chow
    Kelsey Asbill Chow is an American actress originally from Columbia, South Carolina, United States. She best known for her role as Mikayla in the Disney XD sitcom Pair of Kings...

  • Actress Allison Munn
    Allison Munn
    Allison Munn is an American actress, perhaps best known for her roles as Caroline from That '70s Show and as Tina Haven in The WB sitcom What I Like About You and Lauren in One Tree Hill.-Early life:...

  • Actress Mary-Louise Parker
    Mary-Louise Parker
    Mary-Louise Parker is an American actress, known for her current lead role on Showtime's television series Weeds portraying Nancy Botwin, for which she has received several nominations and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2006...

  • Artist Blue Sky
    Blue Sky (artist)
    Blue Sky is the legal name of an American painter and sculptor best known for his mural, Tunnelvision.- Biography :...

  • Artist Guy Lipscomb
    Guy Lipscomb
    Guy Fleming Lipscomb, Jr. was a business owner, chemist, civic leader, philanthropist, artist, author, teacher, and star collegiate athlete...

  • Astronaut Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
    Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
    Charles Frank "Charlie" Bolden, Jr. is the current Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps major general, and former NASA astronaut....

  • Athlete (USL
    USL Second Division
    The United Soccer Leagues Second Division was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, part of the United Soccer Leagues league pyramid...

    ) Zach Prince
    Zach Prince
    Zach Prince is an American soccer player who currently plays for Charleston Battery in the USL Professional Division.-Youth and College:...

  • Athlete (MLB
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

    ) Bruce Chen
    Bruce Chen
    Bruce Kastulo Chen is a Panamanian professional baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals.-Background:...

  • Athlete (NFL
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

    ) Richard Seymour
    Richard Seymour
    Richard Vershaun Seymour is an American football defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots sixth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft...

  • Athlete (NFL) Michael Boulware
    Michael Boulware
    Michael Boulware is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.Boulware has also played for the Houston Texans in his career...

  • Athlete (NFL) Peter Boulware
    Peter Boulware
    Peter Nicholas Boulware , is a former American football linebacker who played his whole NFL career for the Baltimore Ravens. He was a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 9. His younger brother, Michael Boulware, a strong safety is currently a free agent.-Early...

  • Athlete (NFL) Duce Staley
    Duce Staley
    Duce Staley is a former American football running back in the National Football League best known for his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at University of South Carolina...

  • Athlete (NFL) Samkon Gado
    Samkon Gado
    Samkon Kaltho Gado is an Nigerian-American running back of American football who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Liberty....

  • Athlete (NFL, Former) Brad Edwards
    Brad Edwards
    Bradford Wayne Edwards is a former American football defensive back who played nine seasons in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, and the Atlanta Falcons. He graduated from Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1984...

    , member of Washington Redskins
    Washington Redskins
    The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

     Super Bowl XXVI
    Super Bowl XXVI
    Super Bowl XXVI was an American football game played on January 26, 1992 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota to decide the National Football League champion following the 1991 regular season...

     winning team
  • Athlete (NBA
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

    ) Jermaine O'Neal
    Jermaine O'Neal
    Jermaine Lee O'Neal is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics. The 6 ft 11 in , 255 lb forward-center had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA Draft straight out of high school...

  • Athlete (NBA, Former) Alex English
    Alex English
    Alexander English is a retired American basketball player and former assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association who played at the forward position...

  • Athlete (NBA, Former) Tyrone Corbin
    Tyrone Corbin
    Tyrone Kennedy Corbin is the head coach of the Utah Jazz in the National Basketball Association. He was installed as head coach on February 10, 2011 following the resignation of longtime coach Jerry Sloan....

  • Athlete (NBA, Former) Xavier McDaniel
    Xavier McDaniel
    Xavier Maurice McDaniel , nicknamed the X-Man, is a retired American National Basketball Association player who, at 6 ft 7 in, played both small forward and power forward, and former head coach of the Riders Slamball team.-College:While at Wichita State, McDaniel was the first person to...

  • Athlete BJ McKie
    BJ McKie
    BJ McKie , is an American basketball player. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, McKie went to high school at Irmo High School and played for the University of South Carolina men's basketball team. In January 1999, he became the Gamecock's all time leading scorer, surpassing Alex English...

  • Athlete (WWE/WWF
    World Wrestling Entertainment
    World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

    , Former Women's Champion) The Fabulous Moolah
    The Fabulous Moolah
    Mary Lillian Ellison , better known by her ring name The Fabulous Moolah, was an American female professional wrestler. She began her career working with promoter Billy Wolfe and his wife, wrestler and trainer Mildred Burke, as well as working alongside professional wrestler "Nature Boy" Buddy...

  • Athlete (WWF/WCW, Former Tag Team Champion) The Patriot
    Del Wilkes
    Del Wilkes is a former American professional wrestler. Over the span of 14 years, he performed in various promotions such as American Wrestling Association, All Japan Pro Wrestling...

  • Author Tom Poland
    Tom Poland
    Tom Poland was born in Augusta, Georgia, as Thomas Mitchell Poland to John Mitchell Poland and Ruth Walker Poland. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, Georgia. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Masters in Education from the University of Georgia.A frequent...

     Sapelo:Forbidden Island
  • Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernadin
  • Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

     veteran Maxcy Gregg
    Maxcy Gregg
    Maxcy Gregg was a lawyer, soldier in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War who was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg....

  • Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

     veteran Alexander Cheves Haskell
    Alexander Cheves Haskell
    Alexander Cheves Haskell was a Colonel in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and a Democratic politician in postbellum South Carolina.-Early life:...

  • Coach (Swimming, Olympic champion Michael Phelps
    Michael Phelps
    Michael Fred Phelps is an American swimmer who has, overall, won 16 Olympic medals—six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at Beijing in 2008, becoming the most successful athlete at both of these Olympic Games editions...

    ) Bob Bowman
    Bob Bowman (coach)
    Bob Bowman is an American swimming coach, who is the coach of Michael Phelps. From 2005-2008, he was the head coach for the University of Michigan men's swimming & diving team, replacing Jon Urbanchek; as well as the head coach for the club team based at the school: Club Wolverine. He was the...

  • Coach (Football, College) Steve Spurrier
    Steve Spurrier
    Stephen Orr Spurrier is an American college football coach and player. Spurrier is the current head coach of the University of South Carolina's Gamecocks football team. He is also a former professional player and coach...

  • Film director and choreographer Stanley Donen
    Stanley Donen
    Stanley Donen ; is an American film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with Gene Kelly. His other noteworthy films include Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn...

  • Film producer and writer Susannah Walker Mills
  • Founder Next of Kin Registry (NOKR) Mark Cerney
    Mark Cerney
    Mark V. Cerney is the founder of an American nonprofit organization. He is best known for creating the Next of Kin Registry organization....

  • Music Band (Reggae
    Reggae
    Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

    ) The Movement
  • Music Band (Alternative rock) Band of Horses
    Band of Horses
    Band of Horses, originally briefly known as Horses, are an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. They have released three studio albums, the most recent and most successful of which is 2010's Grammy nominated Infinite Arms...

  • Music Band (Post-grunge/hard rock) Crossfade
    Crossfade (band)
    -Studio albums:-Singles:...

  • Music Band (Pop-Rock) Hootie & the Blowfish
    Hootie & the Blowfish
    Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band that enjoyed popularity in the second half of the 1990s. They were originally formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, and Mark Bryan. The band has recorded five studio albums to date, and has...

  • Music Band (Hardcore punk
    Hardcore punk
    Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

    ), Stretch Arm Strong
    Stretch Arm Strong
    Stretch Arm Strong is a hardcore punk band from Chapin South Carolina, and the flagship band for We Put Out Records. They have been active since 1992. Several of the band members are outspoken Christians, but they prefer not to be classified as a Christian band in some cases. They do prefer to be...

  • Music Band (death metal
    Death metal
    Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It typically employs heavily distorted guitars, tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, minor keys or atonality, and complex song structures with multiple tempo changes....

    ), Nile
    Nile (band)
    Nile is an American death metal band from Greenville, South Carolina, formed in 1993. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Ancient Egyptian/Near Eastern mysticism, history, religion, and art, as well as stories by H. P. Lovecraft.- History :...

  • Musician and songwriter Samuel Beam of Iron & Wine
    Iron & Wine
    Samuel Beam , better known by his stage and recording name Iron & Wine, is an American singer-songwriter. He has released four studio albums, several EPs and singles, as well as a few download-only releases, which include a live album...

  • Musician and songwriter Danielle Howle
    Danielle Howle
    Danielle Howle is an American singer-songwriter. After releasing an early song on a Columbia, SC music sampler, she joined the Columbia band Lay Quiet Awhile, which had been formed by brothers Dan and Phil Cook in 1989 and had released two EPs...

  • Musician and songwriter Toro Y Moi
    Toro Y Moi
    Chazwick Bundick better known by his stage name Toro Y Moi, is an American recording artist and producer. His music has taken on many forms since he began recording, but he is often identified with the chillwave movement of summer 2010...

  • Musician and songwriter Washed Out
    Washed Out
    Washed Out is the stage name of the American chillwave musician Ernest Greene .-Career:In June 2009, Greene graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina and was unable to find a job as a librarian...

  • Musician Danny!
    Danny!
    Danny!, also known as D. Swain , is an American rap performer and record producer from Columbia, South Carolina, a former student of the Savannah College of Art & Design and, previously, a recording artist for Definitive Jux Records. L.A. Weekly has called Danny! "the best new artist that Def Jux...

  • Musician (Frontman) Chris Bickel
    Chris Bickel
    Chris Bickel most notably fronted the bands In/Humanity and Guyana Punch Line. Both bands could be considered to be Powerviolence and Hardcore punk, but Bickel jokingly described In/Humanity's music as Emo Violence and introduced the philosophy of Smashism with Guyana Punch Line. .In/Humanity...

  • Musician (Saxophone, Jazz) Chris Potter
    Chris Potter (jazz saxophonist)
    Chris Potter is an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist.-Biography:Born in Chicago, Illinois, Potter spent most of his childhood in Columbia, South Carolina where his mother taught psychology at the University of South Carolina...

  • Musician (Trombone, Funk) Fred Wesley
    Fred Wesley
    Fred Wesley is an American jazz and funk trombonist, best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s and 1970s.-Biography:...

  • Musician (Trombone, Jazz) Ron Westray
    Ron Westray
    Ronald Kenneth Westray, Jr. is an American jazz trombonist, composer, and educator. He holds a B.A. from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University...

  • Music Band (Hardcore punk
    Hardcore punk
    Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

    ), Bored Suburban Youth
    Bored Suburban Youth
    Bored Suburban Youths was among the hardcore punk bands that rose up in the Southeastern United States in the "second wave" of the 1980s. Along with bands such as Bedlam Hour, Mass Appeal and The Sex Mutants, BSY contributed to the nascent punk scene in the decidedly un-punk environs of the...

  • Novelist William Price Fox
    William Price Fox
    William Price Fox is an American novelist, who wrote Southern Fried and Doctor Golf. Fox has contributed to publications such as Sports Illustrated, L.A. Times, USA Today and Atlantic Monthly...

  • Pianist Phillip Bush
    Phillip Bush
    Phillip Bush is an American classical pianist, with a career focusing primarily on chamber music and contemporary classical music....

  • Poet James Dickey
    James Dickey
    James Lafayette Dickey was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966.-Early years:...

  • President (U.S) Woodrow Wilson
    Woodrow Wilson
    Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

  • Scientist (Nobel Prize
    Nobel Prize
    The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

     winner/ graduate of Dreher High School
    Dreher High School
    Dreher High School is a co-educational four-year public high school in Richland County School District One located in Columbia, South Carolina. Dreher, established in 1938, is one of the oldest public high schools in the state...

    ) Kary Mullis
    Kary Mullis
    Kary Banks Mullis is a Nobel Prize winning American biochemist, author, and lecturer. In recognition of his improvement of the polymerase chain reaction technique, he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Michael Smith and earned the Japan Prize in the same year. The process was first...

  • Singer (R&B) Angie Stone
    Angie Stone
    Angie Stone is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and occasional actress. She has been nominated for three Grammy Award. She is more successful on the charts R&B charts, with four Top 10 albums, forms including a number one album and 10 singles on the R&B chart,...

  • Singer (Rapper) Lil Ru
    Lil Ru
    Sylvester Samuel better known by his stage name Lil Ru, is an American rapper from Columbia, South Carolina currently signed to Def Jam Recordings. His debut album, 21 & Up was released on August 25, 2009. The Ridgeway native was 16 when he made his professional foray into the music business...

  • Singer (Rapper) Young Jeezy
    Young Jeezy
    Jay Wayne Jenkins , better known by his stage name Young Jeezy, is an American rapper. He is the member of the hip hop group United Streets Dopeboyz of America and a former member of BMF...

  • Singer (lead singer of band Matchbox Twenty
    Matchbox Twenty
    Matchbox Twenty is an American rock band, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1995...

    ) Rob Thomas
    Rob Thomas (musician)
    Robert Kelly "Rob" Thomas is an American rock recording artist and songwriter. He is the primary songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty. Thomas also records and performs as a solo artist...

  • Songwriter (singer, guitarist) Chuck Mims


  • Neighborhoods



    • Arsenal Hill
      Arsenal Hill (Columbia)
      Arsenal Hill is a neighborhood located in Columbia, South Carolina. Arsenal Hill was one of the first residential neighborhoods in the city and was the site of an arsenal during the Civil War. The South Carolina Governor's Mansion is located in Arsenal Hill...

    • Congaree Vista
      Congaree Vista
      Congaree Vista is a cosmopolitan section of Columbia, South Carolina, near the banks of the Congaree River, which was revitalized during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The section includes many small, high-class shops and restaurants, often in renovated warehouse buildings...

    • Cottontown/Bellevue Historic District
    • Earlewood
    • Eau Claire
      Eau Claire, South Carolina
      -Location:The Eau Claire community is bordered by Main St. and Monticello Rd. to the east, River Drive and Sunset Drive to the south, the Broad River to the west, and Interstate 20 to the north.-External links:*...

    • Elmwood Park
      Elmwood Park, Columbia, SC
      Elmwood Park is a residential neighborhood and historic district in what is now the center of Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in the early 1900s, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Elmwood Park Historic District on May 3, 1991....

    • Forest Acres
    • Forest Hills
    • Granby Mill Village
    • Gregg Park
    • Heathwood
    • Heritage Woods
    • Hollywood-Rose Hill
    • King's Grant
    • Lake Carolina
    • Long Creek Plantation
    • Martin Luther King (Valley Park)
    • Melrose Heights


    Shopping


    Major regional shopping centers in the Columbia area include Columbiana Centre and the Village at Sandhill, along with a handful of other smaller shopping centers in the region.

    The Five Points neighborhood, home to many locally owned businesses, is known as Columbia's eclectic village shopping area. The Devine Street corridor offers a variety of specialty shopping, including art and antiques, eclectic home furnishings, and men's, women's, and children's clothing. The historic Congaree Vista district downtown provides shoppers with a collection of shops filled with antiques, oriental rugs, jewelry, original artwork, hand-made furniture, and collectibles.

    Media



    Columbia's daily newspaper is The State and its alternative newspapers include The Free Times, The Columbia Star, Columbia City Paper
    Columbia City Paper
    Columbia City Paper is a free alternative newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina featuring investigative articles, political commentary, humor, music, arts and entertainment coverage. Founded in August 2005 by Paul F. Blake the paper is based in Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia City Paper is...

    , and the SC Black News. Columbia Metropolitan Magazine is a bi-monthly publication about news and events in the metropolitan area. Greater Columbia Business Monthly highlights economic development, business, education, and the arts. Q-Notes
    Q-Notes
    Q-Notes is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender newspaper serving North Carolina and South Carolina. It is based in Charlotte, N.C.. Published every other week, it has a circulation of 11,000 print copies and is the largest print publication serving the LGBT community in the American Southeast...

    , a bi-weekly newspaper serving the LGBT
    LGBT
    LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

     community and published in Charlotte
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

    , is distributed to locations in Columbia and via home delivery. Columbia is home to the headquarters and production facilities of South Carolina Educational Television
    South Carolina Educational Television
    South Carolina Educational Television is the statewide public television and public radio network in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It consists of all the Public Broadcasting Service member [television stations and National Public Radio member radio stations in the state...

     and ETV Radio, the state's public television and public radio networks. Columbia is the 3rd largest TV market in South Carolina as ranked by number of households in the viewing area. The local radio stations are:

    Cultural and literary arts



    • Town Theatre is the country's oldest community theatre in continuous use. Located a block from the University of South Carolina
      University of South Carolina
      The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

       campus, its playhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
      National Register of Historic Places
      The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

      . Since 1917, the theatre has produced plays and musicals of wide general appeal.
    • Trustus Theatre is Columbia's professional theatre company. Founded more than 20 years ago, Trustus brought a new dimension to theatre in South Carolina's capital city. Patrons have the opportunity to watch new shows directly from the stages of New York
      New York
      New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

       as well as classic shows rarely seen in Columbia.
    • The Nickelodeon Theatre is a small 77-seat store front theater located on the corner of Main and Pendleton Streets, adjacent to the campus of the University of South Carolina. In operation since 1979, "the Nick", run by the Columbia Film Society, is home to two film screenings each evening and an additional matinee three days a week. The Nick is the only non-profit art house film theater in South Carolina and is the home for 25,000 filmgoers each year.
    • Columbia Marionette Theatre has the distinction of being the only free standing theatre in the nation devoted entirely to marionette arts.
    • The South Carolina Shakespeare Company performs the plays of Shakespeare and other classical works throughout the state.
    • Workshop Theatre of South Carolina opened in 1967 as a place where area directors could practice their craft. The theatre produces musicals and Broadway
      Broadway theatre
      Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

       fare and also brings new theatrical material to Columbia.
    • The Imperfect Theater Company is Columbia's newest, having made its debut in the capital city in July 2006 with the play, "Some Americans Abroad." The group's goal is to perform intimate theater productions of "imperfect but thought-provoking play-scripts."
    • The South Carolina State Museum
      South Carolina State Museum
      The South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. Positioned on an old shipping canal on the Congaree River that dates back to pre-Civil War times, the museum is widely recognized as a resource for South Carolina history...

       is a comprehensive museum with exhibits in science, technology, history, and the arts. It is the state's largest museum and one of the largest museums in the Southeast.
    • The Columbia Museum of Art features changing exhibits throughout the year. Located at the corner of Hampton and Main Streets, the museum offers art, lectures, films, and guided tours.
    • EdVenture
      EdVenture
      EdVenture is the largest children's museum in the Southeast, located in Columbia, South Carolina. EdVenture opened to the public in 2003. It has 8 galleries covering , plus hands-on exhibits, 2 resource centers, and a 200-seat theater. of the total is devoted to exhibit galleries, laboratories...

       is one of the South's largest children's museums and the second largest in South Carolina. It is located next to the South Carolina State Museum
      South Carolina State Museum
      The South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. Positioned on an old shipping canal on the Congaree River that dates back to pre-Civil War times, the museum is widely recognized as a resource for South Carolina history...

       on Gervais Street. The museum allows children to explore and learn while having fun.
    • McKissick Museum is located on the University of South Carolina
      University of South Carolina
      The University of South Carolina is a public, co-educational research university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States, with 7 surrounding satellite campuses. Its historic campus covers over in downtown Columbia not far from the South Carolina State House...

       campus. The museum features changing exhibitions of art, science, regional history, and folk art.
    • The Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum showcases an artifact collection from the Colonial period to the space age. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts from the South Carolina confederate period.
    • The Richland County Public Library, named the 2001 National Library of the Year, serves area citizens through its main library and nine branches. The 242000 square feet (22,482.5 m²) main library has a large book collection, provides reference services, utilizes the latest technology, houses a children's collection, and displays artwork.
    • The South Carolina State Library provides library services to all citizens of South Carolina through the interlibrary loan service utilized by the public libraries located in each county.
    • The Columbia City Ballet is Columbia's ballet company, offering more than 80 major performances annually. Artistic director William Starrett, formerly of the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, runs the company. The Columbia City Ballet's goal is "to offer South Carolina and Southeastern audiences the highest quality ballet and to provide dancers with only the best professional dance training."
    • The South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra
      South Carolina Philharmonic
      The South Carolina Philharmonic is an orchestra based in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Performances are held at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia. The current concertmaster is Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian. The orchestra was founded in 1963....

       is Columbia's resident orchestra. The Philharmonic produces a full season of orchestral performances each year. Renowned musicians come to Columbia to perform as guest artists with the orchestra. In April 2008 Morihiko Nakahara
      Morihiko Nakahara
      is a Japanese conductor.Born in Kagoshima, Japan, Nakahara is the Associate Conductor of the Spokane Symphony. Nakahara received a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Rodney Winther. In 1998 he...

       was named the new Music Director of the Philharmonic.
    • The Columbia City Jazz Dance Company was formed in 1990 by artistic director Dale Lam
      Dale Lam
      Dale Lam is a member of the dance faculty at the University of South Carolina and the founder, artistic director and choreographer of the , named "One of the Top 50 Dance Companies in the US" by . She has a BA in Theatre and Speech from the University of South Carolina and received additional...

       and had the great honor of being named one of the "Top 50 Dance Companies in the USA" by Dance Spirit magazine. Columbia City Jazz specializes in modern, lyrical, and percussive jazz dance styles and has performed locally, regionally, and nationally in exhibitions, competitions, community functions, and international tours in Singapore
      Singapore
      Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

      , Plovdiv
      Plovdiv
      Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

      , Bulgaria
      Bulgaria
      Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

      , and Austria
      Austria
      Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

      .
    • The Columbia Choral Society has been performing throughout the community since 1930. Under the direction of Dr. William Carswell, the group strives to stimulate and broaden interest in musical activities and to actively engage in the rehearsal and rendition of choral music.

    Parks and outdoor recreational opportunities



    The region's most popular park, Finlay Park
    Finlay Park
    Finlay Park, at , is the largest and most visited park in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The park opened in 1991. Initially named Sidney Park, it was renamed after a former Columbia mayor Kirkman Finlay. In the park there is a scenic waterfall along with cascading mountain type stream falling...

     has hosted just about everything from festivals and political rallies to road races and Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

     Sunrise services.

    This 18 acres (72,843.5 m²) park has had two lives; first dedicated in 1859 as Sidney Park, named in honor of Algernon Sidney Johnson, a Columbia City Councilman, the park experienced an illustrious but short tenure. The park fell into disrepair after the Civil War and served as a site for commercial ventures until the late 20th century. In 1990, the park was reopened. It serves as the site for such events as Kids Day, The Summer Concert Series, plus many more activities. In 1992, the park was renamed Finlay Park, in honor of Kirkman Finlay, a past mayor of Columbia who had a vision to reenergize the historic Congaree Vista district, between Main Street and the river, and recreate the site that was formerly known as Sidney Park.

    Memorial Park is a 4 acres (16,187.4 m²) tract of land in the Congaree Vista between Main Street and the river. The property is bordered by Hampton, Gadsden, Washington, and Wayne Streets and is one block south of Finlay Park. This park was created to serve as a memorial to those who served their country and presently has monuments honoring the USS Columbia
    USS Columbia
    Nine United States Navy ships have been named USS Columbia, after the personification of the United States, also after the city of Columbia, South Carolina....

     warship and those that served with her during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    , the China-Burma-India Theater Veterans of WWII, casualties of the Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

     attack of December 7, 1941 who were from South Carolina, Holocaust survivors who live in South Carolina as well as concentration camp liberators from South Carolina, and the State Vietnam War
    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

     Veterans. The park was dedicated in November 1986 along with the unveiling of the South Carolina Vietnam Monument. In June 2000, the Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

     Memorial was dedicated at Memorial Park.

    Granby Park opened in November 1998 as a gateway to the rivers of Columbia, adding another access to the many river activities available to residents. Granby is part of the Three Rivers Greenway, a system of green spaces along the banks of the rivers in Columbia, adding another piece to the long-range plan and eventually connecting to the existing Riverfront Park. Granby is a 24 acres (97,124.6 m²) linear park with canoe access points, fishing spots, bridges, and 1/2 mile of nature trail along the banks of the Congaree River.

    In the Five Points district of downtown Columbia is the park dedicated to the legacy and memory of the most celebrated civil rights leader in America, Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Formerly known as Valley Park, it was historically known to be largely restricted to Whites. Renaming the park after Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1980s was seen as a progressive and unifying event on behalf of the city, civic groups, and local citizens. The park features a beautiful water sculpture and a community center. An integral element of the park is the Stone of Hope monument, unveiled in January 1996. Upon the monument is inscribed a portion of King's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize
    Nobel Peace Prize
    The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

     acceptance speech: "History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued that self-defeating path of hate. Love is the key to the solutions of the problems of the world."

    One of Columbia's greatest assets is Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
    Riverbanks Zoo
    The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden located at 500 Wildlife Parkway, along the Saluda River, in Columbia, South Carolina, USA.Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums ....

    . Riverbanks Zoo is a sanctuary for more than 2,000 animals housed in natural habitat exhibits along the Saluda River. Just across the river, the 70 acres (283,280.2 m²) botanical garden is devoted to gardens, woodlands, plant collections, and historic ruins. Riverbanks has been named one of America's best zoos and the #1 travel attraction in the Southeast. It attracted over one million visitors in 2009.

    Situated along the meandering Congaree River in central South Carolina, Congaree National Park
    Congaree National Park
    Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 26,546-acre national park received that designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign which had started in 1969...

     is home to champion trees, primeval forest landscapes, and diverse plant and animal life. This 22200 acres (90 km²) park protects the largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. The park is an international biosphere reserve
    Biosphere reserve
    The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

    . Known for its giant hardwoods and towering pines, the park’s floodplain forest includes one of the highest canopies in the world and some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States. Congaree National Park provides a sanctuary for plants and animals, a research site for scientists, and a place to walk and relax in a tranquil wilderness setting.

    Sesquicentennial State Park
    Sesquicentennial State Park
    Sesquicentennial State Park is a state park in the Sandhills region of South Carolina. Located in the suburbs of the state capital, Columbia, Sesquicentennial State Park's include a lake. Sesquicentennial State Park also includes many hiking trails, meeting facilities, a dorm, a ropes course,...

     is a 1419 acres (6 km²) park, featuring a beautiful 30 acres (121,405.8 m²) lake surrounded by trails and picnic areas. The park's proximity to downtown Columbia and three major interstate highways attracts both local residents and travelers. Sesquicentennial is often the site of family reunions and group campouts. Interpretive nature programs are a major attraction to the park. The park also contains a two-story log house, dating back to the mid 18th century, which was relocated to the park in 1969. This house is believed to be the oldest building still standing in Richland County. The park was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Evidence of their craftsmanship is still present today.

    In November 1996, the River Alliance proposed that a 12 miles (19 km) linear park system be created to link people to their rivers. This was named the Three Rivers Greenway, and the $18 million estimated cost was agreed to by member governments (the cities of Cayce
    Cayce, South Carolina
    Cayce is a city in Lexington and Richland counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina, along the Congaree River. The population was 12,150 at the 2000 census...

    , Columbia, and West Columbia
    West Columbia, South Carolina
    West Columbia is a city in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 13,064 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area....

    ) with the proviso that the Alliance recommend an acceptable funding strategy.

    While the funding process was underway, an existing city of Columbia site located on the Congaree River
    Congaree River
    The Congaree River is a short but wide river in South Carolina in the United States; It flows for only 47 miles . The river serves an important role as the final outlet channel for the entire Lower Saluda and Lower Broad watersheds, before merging with the Wateree River just north of Lake Marion to...

     offered an opportunity to be a pilot project for the Three Rivers Greenway. The Alliance was asked to design and permit for construction by a general contractor this component. This approximately one-half mile segment of the system was opened in November 1998. It is complete with 8 feet (2.4 m) wide concrete pathways, vandal-proof lighting, trash receptacles, water fountains, picnic benches, overlooks, bank fishing access, canoe/kayak access, a public restroom and parking. These set the standards for the common elements in the rest of the system. Eventually, pathways will run from Granby to the Riverbanks Zoo. Boaters, sportspeople, and fisherpeople will have access to the area, and additional recreational uses are being planned along the miles of riverfront.
    Running beside the historic Columbia Canal, Riverfront Park hosts a two and a half mile trail. Spanning the canal is an old railway bridge that now is a pedestrian walkway. The park is popular for walking, running, bicycling, and fishing. Picnic tables and benches dot the walking trail. Markers are located along the trail so that visitors can measure distance. The park is part of the Palmetto Trail, a hiking and biking trail that stretches the entire length of the state, from Greenville
    Greenville, South Carolina
    -Law and government:The city of Greenville adopted the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1976.-History:The area was part of the Cherokee Nation's protected grounds after the Treaty of 1763, which ended the French and Indian War. No White man was allowed to enter, though some families...

     to Charleston
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

    .

    Other parks in the Columbia area include, among others:
    • W. Gordon Belser Arboretum
      W. Gordon Belser Arboretum
      The W. Gordon Belser Arboretum is an arboretum located near the University of South Carolina campus, in Columbia, South Carolina.The arboretum was a gift from William Gordon Belser, a neighborhood homeowner and real estate developer. It is a natural area now used for teaching biology.-See also:*...

    • Maxcy Gregg Park
    • Hyatt Park
    • Earlewood Park
    • Granby Park
    • Owens Field Park
    • Guignard Park
    • Southeast Park
    • Harbison State Forest

    Festivals and annual events

    • The South Carolina State Fair is held annually in Columbia in the month of October. Rides, food, and games attract local and widespread attendants. Exhibits featuring art, crafts, flowers, and livestock cover the fairgrounds.
    • The St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Five Points is a Columbia favorite. Held each March, this event features live bands, arts and crafts, and food.
    • Riverfest Celebration is an annual festival held in early spring. The celebration includes a 5K River Run, musical entertainment, arts and crafts, and food vendors.
    • Earth Day at Finlay Park is held each spring. This event brings together environmental booths and vendors as well as traditional festival favorites.
    • South Carolina Gay & Lesbian Pride is held in September. "SC Pride" is held to celebrate the state's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered community and educate the general public regarding the GLBT community and the need for basic civil rights. SC Pride is a weeklong event that includes a film festival, pride pageant, and banquet leading up to the Pride Parade and Festival.
    • Artista Vista has grown from a minor studio showcase in the early 1990s into a draw for artists and collectors alike. While local artists make up the lion's share of the exhibits, Artista Vista has presented works from as far afield as Japan
      Japan
      Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

      , Romania
      Romania
      Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

      , and Poland
      Poland
      Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

      .
    • Viva La Vista is a food festival in the heart of the Congaree Vista in downtown Columbia. Covering nearly four city blocks, the festival spans Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate and parts of Gervais Street. The event celebrates the fall with live music, beverages, and a taste of the Vista’s most popular restaurants.
    • The Greek Festival is held annually in September at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Downtown Columbia. Traditional Greek dances, ceremonies, music, theatre, food, and beverages are all part of this four-day festival.
    • The Irmo Okra Strut is a two-day festival held during the last weekend in September. The festival features a street dance, 10 K road race, golf tournament, arts and crafts, rides, food, and South Carolina’s largest festival parade.
    • FamilyFest, formerly known as GospelFest, is a one-day open air concert held in Finlay Park in late spring (usually late May or early June). Attracting tens of thousands of attendees, the concert is sponsored by local Gospel music
      Gospel music
      Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

       radio station WFMV and features local and nationally known Gospel artists.
    • Eau Claire Renaissance Faire has become the signature event for the North Columbia neighborhood of Eau Claire since its establishment in 1998. Events during the festival include the Renaissance Parade and an outdoor concert.
    • Main Street Jazz brings several renowned jazz performers to Columbia each spring.
    • Vista Lights is held each year in mid-November. Open house walking tours and receptions, entertainment by local musicians, and carriage rides through Columbia’s antique district are all highlights of this festival.
    • Jubilee: Festival of Heritage is a one-day event held at the historic Mann-Sims Cottage to recognize African-American heritage. The festival includes arts and crafts, storytelling, and music and dance performances.
    • Urban Tour, founded in 2007, is a one-day free event held on Main Street designed to help the corridor sustain activity after business hours. The self-guided walking tour includes live entertainment such as street performers and musicians, local artists, a glimpse into downtown living, and stories behind some of Main Street's historic buildings.
    • The Southeastern Piano Festival features aspiring young pianists from throughout the country and around the world who perform in recitals and compete in an international competition.
    • The Finlay Park Summer Concert Series is a series of free concerts during the summer in Finlay Park that features performances by artists across a variety of musical genres.

    Sports

    Club Sport Founded League Venue
    Columbia Inferno
    Columbia Inferno
    The Columbia Inferno are an ECHL team based in Columbia, South Carolina. The team is currently on voluntary suspension awaiting construction of a new arena in suburban Lexington County. They played their home games at the Carolina Coliseum. They planned on playing in a new arena during the...

    Ice hockey
    Ice hockey
    Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

    2001 ECHL
    ECHL
    The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey with teams scattered across the United States...

    To be determined*
    Columbia Blowfish
    Columbia Blowfish
    The Columbia Blowfish are an amateur baseball team in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The team plays its home games at the Capital City Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina...

    Baseball
    Baseball
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

    2005 Coastal Plain League
    Coastal Plain League
    The Coastal Plain League is a wood-bat collegiate summer league, featuring college players from throughout the nation. The league takes its name from a Class D minor league baseball league which operated in the same area from 1937 to 1952. The modern league was formed with six teams in 1997...

    Capital City Stadium
    Capital City Stadium
    Capital City Stadium is a stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. Originally built in 1927, it is primarily used for baseball and was the home for more than 20 years of the Capital City Bombers...

    Columbia Olde Grey
    Columbia Olde Grey
    Columbia Olde Grey is a rugby union club founded in 1967. The team is a Division II club playing in the Palmetto Union of USA Rugby. The club was selected to host the 2006 and 2007 Division I, II & III National Rugby Club Playoffs as well as the 2006 National Women's Rugby Playoffs...

    Rugby Union
    Rugby union
    Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

    1967 USA Rugby
    USA Rugby
    USA Rugby is the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in the United States. It is divided into seven territorial Unions: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Pacific Coast, Southern California, South, and West...

    Patton Stadium


    * Note concerning the Columbia Inferno: the team voluntarily suspended operations for the 2008-2009, 2009–2010, and 2010-2011 seasons while it continues to try to build a privately financed arena. The team previously played at the Carolina Coliseum
    Carolina Coliseum
    The Carolina Coliseum is a 12,401 seat multi-purpose arena in Columbia, South Carolina. It was the home of the University of South Carolina men's and women's basketball teams and Columbia's main events venue until 2002, when the Colonial Center, now Colonial Life Arena, opened...

    .


    In addition to sports programs at the University of South Carolina, Columbia has also hosted the women's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 1996 and 2000 and the 2007 Junior Wildwater World Championships, which featured many European canoe and kayak racers. The Colonial Life Arena has also hosted NBA
    National Basketball Association
    The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

     exhibition games.

    Venues



    Colonial Life Arena, which opened in 2002, is Columbia's premiere arena and entertainment facility. Seating 18,000 for college basketball, it is the largest arena in the state of South Carolina and the tenth largest on-campus basketball facility in the nation, serving as the home of the men's and women's USC Gamecocks basketball teams. Located on the University of South Carolina campus, this facility features 41 suites, four entertainment suites, and the Frank McGuire Club, a full-service hospitality room with a capacity of 300. The facility has padded seating, a technologically advanced sound system, and a four-sided video scoreboard.

    The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, which opened in September 2004 as South Carolina's only downtown convention center, is a 142500 square feet (13,238.7 m²), modern, state-of-the-art facility designed to host a variety of meetings and conventions. Located in the historic Congaree Vista district, this facility is close to restaurants, antique and specialty shops, art galleries, and various popular nightlife venues. The main exhibit hall contains almost 25000 square feet (2,322.6 m²) of space; the Columbia Ballroom over 18000 square feet (1,672.3 m²); and the five meeting rooms ranging in size from 1500 to 4000 square feet (371.6 m²) add another 15000 square feet (1,393.5 m²) of space. The facility is located next to the Colonial Life Arena.

    Williams-Brice Stadium
    Williams-Brice Stadium
    Williams-Brice Stadium is the home football stadium for the South Carolina Gamecocks, the college football team representing the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina...

     is the home of the USC Gamecocks' football team and is one of the largest college football stadiums in the nation. It seats 80,250 people and is located just south of downtown Columbia. The stadium was built in 1934 with the help of federal Works Progress Administration funds, and initially seated 17,600. The original name was Carolina Stadium, but on September 9, 1972, it was renamed to honor the Williams and Brice families. Mrs. Martha Williams-Brice had left much of her estate to the university for stadium renovations and expansions. Her late husband, Thomas H. Brice, played football for the university from 1922 to 1924.

    The Koger Center for the Arts provides Columbia with theatre, music, and dance performances that range from local acts to global acts. The facility seats 2,256 persons. The center is named for philanthropists Ira and Nancy Koger, who made a substantial donation from personal and corporate funds for construction of the $15 million center. The first performance at the Koger Center was given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    The London Philharmonic Orchestra , based in London, is one of the major orchestras of the United Kingdom, and is based in the Royal Festival Hall. In addition, the LPO is the main resident orchestra of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera...

     and took place on Saturday, January 14, 1989. The facility is known for hosting diverse events, from the State of the State Address to the South Carolina Body Building Championship and the South Carolina Science Fair.


    The Carolina Coliseum
    Carolina Coliseum
    The Carolina Coliseum is a 12,401 seat multi-purpose arena in Columbia, South Carolina. It was the home of the University of South Carolina men's and women's basketball teams and Columbia's main events venue until 2002, when the Colonial Center, now Colonial Life Arena, opened...

    , which opened in 1968, used to be a 12,400-seat facility which initially served as the home of the USC Gamecocks' basketball teams. The arena could be easily adapted to serve other entertainment purposes, including concerts, car shows, circuses, ice shows, and other popular events. The versatility and quality of the Coliseum at one time allowed the University to use the facility for performing arts events such as the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony, Feld Ballet, and other performances by important artists. An acoustical shell and a state-of-the-art lighting system assisted the Coliseum in presenting such activities. The Coliseum was the home of the Columbia Inferno
    Columbia Inferno
    The Columbia Inferno are an ECHL team based in Columbia, South Carolina. The team is currently on voluntary suspension awaiting construction of a new arena in suburban Lexington County. They played their home games at the Carolina Coliseum. They planned on playing in a new arena during the...

    , an ECHL
    ECHL
    The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey with teams scattered across the United States...

     team. However, since the construction of the Colonial Life Arena in 2002, the Coliseum is no longer used for basketball and has been converted into classroom space and now serves as the home to the School of Journalism as well as the School for Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management.

    The Township Auditorium seats 3,200 persons and is located in downtown Columbia. The Georgian Revival
    Georgian architecture
    Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

     building was designed by the Columbia architectural firm of Lafaye and Lafaye and constructed in 1930. The Township has hosted thousands of events from concerts to conventions to wrestling matches. The auditorium was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register of Historic Places
    The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

     on September 28, 2005, and has recently undergone a $12 million extensive interior and exterior renovation.

    The $13 million Charlie W. Johnson Stadium
    Charlie W. Johnson Stadium
    Charlie W. Johnson Stadium is a stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Benedict College. The stadium holds 11,000 people and opened in 2006.-References:...

     is the home of Benedict College
    Benedict College
    Benedict College is a historically black, liberal arts college located in Columbia, South Carolina. Founded in 1870 by northern Baptists, it was originally a teachers' college. It has since expanded into a four-year college.-History:...

     football and soccer. The structure was completed and dedicated in 2006 and seats 11,000 with a maximum capacity of 16,000.

    Carolina Stadium opened in February 2009. Seating 8,400 permanently for college baseball and an additional 1,000 for standing room only, it is the largest baseball stadium in the state of South Carolina and serves as the home of the USC Gamecocks' baseball team. Located near the Granby Park in downtown Columbia, this facility features four entertainment suites, a picnic terrace down the left field line, and a dining deck that will hold approximately 120 fans. The state-of-the-art facility also features a technologically advanced sound system and a 47 feet (14.3 m) high x 44 feet (13.4 m) wide scoreboard. The video portion is 16 feet (4.9 m) high x 28 feet (8.5 m) wide.

    Accolades


    Columbia was recently one of 30 communities named "America's Most Livable
    Quality of life
    The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of...

     Communities". The award was given by the Washington
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    -based non-profit Partners for Livable Communities and honors communities that are developing themselves in the creative economy. Columbia has also been named a top midsized market for relocating families in the nation.

    Sister cities


    Currently, the city of Columbia has four sister cities: Kaiserslautern
    Kaiserslautern
    Kaiserslautern is a city in southwest Germany, located in the Bundesland of Rhineland-Palatinate at the edge of the Palatinate forest . The historic centre dates to the 9th century. It is from Paris, from Frankfurt am Main, and from Luxembourg.Kaiserslautern is home to 99,469 people...

    , Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca
    Cluj-Napoca , commonly known as Cluj, is the fourth most populous city in Romania and the seat of Cluj County in the northwestern part of the country. Geographically, it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest , Budapest and Belgrade...

    , Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

     Plovdiv
    Plovdiv
    Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia with a population of 338,153 inhabitants according to Census 2011. Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC; it is one of the oldest cities in Europe...

    , Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

     Chelyabinsk
    Chelyabinsk
    Chelyabinsk is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located in the northwestern side of the oblast, south of Yekaterinburg, just to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the Miass River. Population: -History:...

    , Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


    See also


    • Columbia (Amtrak station)
      Columbia (Amtrak station)
      The Columbia Amtrak station, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is a passenger rail station served by an Amtrak passenger train, the Silver Star. The street address is 850 Pulaski Street, about three miles southeast of the downtown area...

      , Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Canal
      Columbia Canal
      The Columbia Canal is the surviving canal of a series of canals built by the State of South Carolina in 1824 using the labor of Irish immigrants to provide a direct water routes between the upstate settlements and the towns on the fall line. It is on the Congaree and Broad Rivers in Columbia,...

      , South Carolina
    • Columbia City Jazz Dance Company
      Columbia City Jazz Dance Company
      The Columbia City Jazz Dance Company was formed in 1990 by artistic director Dale Lam and was named one of the "Top 50 Dance Companies in the USA" by Dance Spirit magazine for the 2002/2003 season...

       in South Carolina
    • Columbia City Paper
      Columbia City Paper
      Columbia City Paper is a free alternative newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina featuring investigative articles, political commentary, humor, music, arts and entertainment coverage. Founded in August 2005 by Paul F. Blake the paper is based in Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia City Paper is...

      , a tabloid newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia College (Columbia, South Carolina)
      Columbia College (Columbia, South Carolina)
      Columbia College is a private liberal arts women's college in Columbia, South Carolina. The school is affiliated with United Methodist Church and has more than 1,500 students...

      , a private women's liberal arts college in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Film Society
      Columbia Film Society
      The Columbia Film Society is a nonprofit organization founded in January 1979 in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a community arts organization whose aim is to stimulate discussion and enhance appreciation of media arts in the community by presenting a wide variety of alternative films and...

       in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia High School (Columbia, South Carolina)
      Columbia High School (Columbia, South Carolina)
      Columbia High School is a four year public high school in the St. Andrews area of Columbia, South Carolina, and the oldest existing high school in Columbia. The school's first date as a public school is listed as December 1884...

       — Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia International University
      Columbia International University
      Columbia International University is a Christian institution of higher education located in Columbia, South Carolina. The university is recognized for its emphasis upon spiritual formation, biblical authority and world evangelization.-History:...

       in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Metropolitan Airport
      Columbia Metropolitan Airport
      Columbia Metropolitan Airport is the main airport for Columbia, South Carolina. The airport lies five miles southwest of Columbia's central business district, in Lexington County.-Airlines and destinations:...

       in Columbia, South Carolina, United States (FAA: CAE).
    • Columbia Museum of Art
      Columbia Museum of Art
      The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina has a collection of European and American fine and decorative art that spans several centuries...

       in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad
      Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad
      The Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad was a railroad line that served a 75-miles stretch between Columbia, and Laurens.In 1885, the South Carolina General Assembly issued a charter for the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad, and the line was officially christened on Christmas Day 1885...

      , a historic railroad in South Carolina
    • Columbia Owens Downtown Airport
      Columbia Owens Downtown Airport
      Jim Hamilton - L.B. Owens Airport is a county-owned public-use airport located two nautical miles south of the central business district of Columbia, in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. In 2008, the airport was renamed in honor of former airport manager Jim Hamilton...

       in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Place Mall
      Columbia Place Mall
      Columbia Place is one of South Carolina's largest shopping malls, with nearly of retail space. The mall is located just off Interstate 20 and Interstate 77 on Two Notch Road in Columbia, South Carolina....

       in Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Record
      Columbia Record
      The Columbia Record was an afternoon daily newspaper published in Columbia, South Carolina. It was established in 1897. In 1945 it was purchased by The State which is the morning daily paper in Columbia to form the State-Record Company. The company was purchased by Knight-Ridder in 1986 and...

      , Columbia, South Carolina
    • Columbia Speedway
      Columbia Speedway
      Columbia Speedway was an oval racetrack located in Cayce, a suburb of Columbia, South Carolina. It was the site of auto races for NASCAR's top series from 1951 through 1971. For most of its history, the racing surface was dirt. The races in April and August 1970 were two of the final three Grand...

       in South Carolina
    • Columbia South Carolina Temple
      Columbia South Carolina Temple
      The Columbia South Carolina Temple is the 62nd operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The temple is located in Hopkins, South Carolina because of its central location within the state. The building is set in a residential neighborhood and surrounded by native loblolly...

      , an operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    • Columbia Theological Seminary
      Columbia Theological Seminary
      Columbia Theological Seminary is one of the ten theological institutions affiliated with the Presbyterian Church . It is located in Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Stephen A. Hayner is the seminary's president.-Description:...

      , formerly in Columbia, South Carolina, now in Decatur, Georgia

    Columbia, SC sports teams:
    • Columbia Blowfish
      Columbia Blowfish
      The Columbia Blowfish are an amateur baseball team in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The team plays its home games at the Capital City Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina...

      , a minor league baseball team
    • Columbia Olde Grey
      Columbia Olde Grey
      Columbia Olde Grey is a rugby union club founded in 1967. The team is a Division II club playing in the Palmetto Union of USA Rugby. The club was selected to host the 2006 and 2007 Division I, II & III National Rugby Club Playoffs as well as the 2006 National Women's Rugby Playoffs...

      , a rugby union club
    • West Columbia
      West Columbia, South Carolina
      West Columbia is a city in Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 13,064 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area....

       in South Carolina
      South Carolina
      South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...


    External links