Garvin Design Group projects 1639-1643 & 1645 Main Street and 1209-1211 Gadsden Street received awards at Historic Columbia’s 2022 Preservation Awards held at Seibels House & Gardens May 12, 2022. Scott Garvin received the Preservation Leadership award.

Presented annually, Historic Columbia’s Preservation Awards recognize “notable examples of preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration projects that have maintained or added to Columbia and Richland County’s historical, architectural, and cultural heritage.” The Preservation Leadership Award goes to “persons or entities whose contributions have advanced local preservation efforts.” With this year’s Preservation Awards, Garvin Design Group has earned 33 awards for adaptive reuse and preservation since its founding in 2003.

Garvin Design Group partnered with Rogers Lewis and Mashburn Construction to assist the Middleton family in rehabilitating the three buildings at 1639-1643 & 1645 Main Street. The lower levels of the buildings are now home to Main Street’s newest fine dining restaurant Smoked, while upper levels contain elegant apartment units featuring historic fixtures. Leveraging federal, state, and local historic tax credits, the project team carefully restored the buildings’ cast iron columns, brick facades, distinctive storefronts, and window openings. 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. The new patio at the rear of the site features a prefabricated aluminum pergola that mimics the gable roof of the adjacent rear addition. Operable roof fins enable selective closed cover for outdoor lounge seating.

Hood Construction assisted Garvin Design Group in rehabilitation of 1209 and 1211 Gadsden Street, the twin Italianate buildings now known collectively as Gadsden Place.  Originally constructed in 1920, Gadsden Place needed considerable work to improve structural integrity and reveal key historic characteristics. Both buildings survived fires, though a 1989 fire destroyed the elevator penthouse in 1211 Gadsden Street. Fire damage left scars on the interior stucco and plaster walls and heavy chamfered posts. Several window and door openings were infilled or altered to accommodate changing tenants and uses. Adaptive reuse mitigated the impact of late 20th century alterations to the buildings’ interior layout, facades, and apertures.  The surviving elevator penthouse in 1209 Gadsden Street now supplies access to a rooftop deck. A replica penthouse at 1211 Gadsden Street restores the one destroyed in the 1989 fire. The surviving 1920 vault was refloored with luxury vinyl tile to create a usable storage space. Addition of a sidewalk and new landscaping along the adjacent street enhanced the pedestrian experience along Gadsden Street and improved the site’s connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood.

Scott Garvin emerged as one of Columbia’s preservation leaders even before he became a local business owner. Scott’s deep and longstanding commitment to filling out the Congaree Vista district began while he was still in graduate school at Clemson University’s School of Architecture: his master’s thesis carefully analyzed existing conditions and outlined the potential for revitalizing the Congaree Vista district through thoughtful and intensely place-based design. Decades later Scott committed his fledgling namesake architectural firm to the rehabilitation of Columbia’s historic AIS building in 2005. Adaptive reuse of this building – now known as Gervais Place – attracted key businesses to the epicenter of the Vista and inspired others to reinvest in Columbia’s downtown.  As a developer himself, Scott leads preservation efforts by example: his adaptive reuse projects as both developer and architect include 1649 Main Street and Gervais Place, City Market, and Gadsden Place in the Vista. For more than 20 years, Scott’s leadership has inspired others to preserve and protect Columbia’s historic buildings whenever possible, saving many of the city’s landmark buildings and enhancing its unique sense of place.