Garvin Design Group recently began a year-long project to rehabilitate Columbia’s historic Olympia Armory building on Granby Lane. Following extensive historical research, treatment planning, and approval from the State Historic Preservation Office, selective demolition began in June.  Lexington-based Solid Structures, LLC serves as the project’s general contractor.

The Olympia Armory building was constructed by Works Progress Administration forces and completed in 1937. In addition to its armory function, the building has hosted myriad community gatherings – including tuberculosis screenings, union meetings, dances, and basketball games – and has continuously served the South Carolina Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG) since its construction. Olympia Armory was individually added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1994 and listed as a contributing resource in the Olympia Mill Village Historic District added to the NRHP in 2018.

Garvin Design Group helped the Office of the Adjutant General research the building’s history and develop a plan for its rehabilitation that privileges the preservation of its key historic features. Set to be completed in 2025, the project includes:

  • Restoring the building’s original steel windows
  • Reopening the old interior stage
  • Exposing wide historic trusses
  • Installing historically appropriate new wood flooring in the expansive drill hall.

“Our firm worked on several other projects in the mill village including the Olympia and Granby Mills and 701 Whaley, so the Olympia Armory project feels like a homecoming,” said Meg Syms, who served as a Preservation Consultant on the project. “We so enjoyed researching the history of the building, designing a rehabilitation plan, assisting the Office of the Adjutant General with the State Historic Preservation Office review process, and now working with Solid Structures to give this building a new life. This building’s story is very much about service to the community, and it’s an honor to help ensure it will continue to serve that purpose.”