With significant improvement of storm drainage infrastructure in the 1910’s and 1920’s the City of Columbia prepared the swampy land for redevelopment transforming a marshy “no man’s” land on the edge of Columbia’s iconic grid into a thriving commercial district full of charm, diversity, culture and class.
Two star-like intersections known as “Five Points” by the early 1920s included gas stations, groceries, pharmacies, service stations and specialty stores boasting the city’s first drive-through dry-cleaner and Chinese food restaurant, as well as delis, liquor stores, beauty parlors and vacuum cleaner repair shops with the additions of Harden, Greene and Devine streets over the following decades.
Once referred to as a “city-within-a-city,” Five Points remains an iconic neighborhood in Columbia and beyond dedicated to preserving its rich legacy. For over 100 years, through change and growth, Columbians have witnessed many phases, yet the streets of Five Points remain timeless. Time has afforded the commencement of symbols that preserve the history and model the tradition of Five Points.
With 74 “resources,” mostly buildings dating from the 1920’s through the 1940’s, this historic district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019 joining more than 1,400 National Register listings in South Carolina. Most of Five Points’ historic structures are still recognizable, including the Tudor Revival storefronts wrapping the west corner of Harden and Devine streets (built in 1929-31), Claussen’s Bakery at 2003 Greene Street (built in 1928), the stores on either side of Saluda Avenue (1940’s), Yesterday’s at 2030 Devine Street (built 1935, second-story added in the early 1950’s), and the Five Points Theater at 630-34 Harden Street (1939).