Phase IIA of the multi-year rehabilitation of South Carolina’s only presidential site concluded recently following months of construction on a support structure and electrical upgrades and minor carpentry in the historic circa-1872 main house. Now, to the north of Tommy Wilson’s former home, stands a two story wood-frame building whose design is evocative of 19th and early-20th century outbuildings, such as barns, kitchen buildings and stables. This modern structure rests on an area of the yard that historically had a series of various support buildings on it during the 1870s through the 1920s.
Within its walls can be found restrooms, a catering kitchen and mechanical and electrical rooms that will supply services for both structures and that will allow Historic Columbia Foundation to accommodate a host of different programmatic and special event needs. Special thanks to Consolidated Systems Incorporated for the donation of the roof.
With the recent approval of $1,000,000 by Richland County council, no time will be lost as the Foundation will move forward with Phase IIB, which involves final rehabilitation within the historic former residence and grounds improvements. Following a competitive bid process, contractor selection will occur later this summer with work planned to start in September. Exciting times will continue throughout the remainder of 2012 and into the New Year. During the course of this spate of physical improvements, Foundation staff, working with scholarship committee members and a number of consultants, will develop the interpretive materials for the property, whose public debut is forecast for November 2013.