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Honor Award

Project: 1639-1645 Main Street

Awarded to: Owners of Smoked Restaurant in Columbia: Sara Middleton Styles & Greg Middleton, Janie Campbell, Historic Preservation Consultant, Rogers Lewis Jackson Mann & Quinn, Columbia, Scott Garvin, Architect, Garvin Design Group Address, Columbia, Lee Mashburn, General Contractor, Mashburn Construction Company, Columbia

Submitted by: Meg Syms, Garvin Design Group, Columbia

Adaptive reuse at 1639-1645 Main Street carefully adhered to the National Park Service’s Standards for Rehabilitation to create a distinctive new destination on Columbia’s Main Street while protecting historic fabric in the city’s core. Following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards ensured the project was able to use federal, state, and local historic tax credits and incentives. Adapting 1639-1645 Main Street for mixed commercial and residential use continued the revitalization in the urban core. 


Ground floor and basement spaces were adapted to accommodate a new restaurant known as Smoked, while second floor apartments were rehabilitated for renewed residential use. Adapting three separate buildings for joint use required careful programming: interior layouts needed to honor the buildings’ historic relationship to each other and their appearance from Main Street. Selective demolition of sections of interior walls enabled interior access between buildings on the ground floor. Cased openings were strategically placed at the rear of each dining room to minimize their visibility from Main Street. Placing the restaurants  microbrewery at the rear of the center building and behind an interior storefront wall maximized square footage for dining rooms and minimized visibility from Main Street but supplied views of brewing operations from the buildings’ interior. Reopening and restoring the 19th century skylight in the center building created a natural spotlight for a new oyster bar. 


The buildings’ surviving historic fabric was carefully preserved throughout. Beadboard, pressed tin, and plaster ceilings were kept throughout the ground level spaces. Pressed tin ceilings in the dining areas were painted dark to minimize the visual impact of new mechanical and plumbing systems and enhance the sense of height. Historic hardwood floors in the oyster bar, dining room, and vestibules were kept, with new mosaic ceramic tile installed around the foot of the oyster bar and in the recessed entryways as a nod to former historic materials. Placing the main bar along the northernmost wall of 1645 Main Street (the northernmost of the three buildings) enabled creative reuse of recessed space between structural columns: bronze inlay accents the notched openings framing the downlit bar back. 


Smoked has already been awarded the Columbia Chamber’s 2022 Golden Nail Award not only because it preserved three of Columbia’s oldest buildings, but also because it created a creative and energetic new destination in the heart of downtown.  Adaptive reuse transformed the buildings at 1639-1645 Main Street into glittering spaces that showcase the potential of historic preservation in the reinvigoration of South Carolina’s downtowns. 

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