The City of Columbia Planning Department is responsible for historic preservation activities within the City. The Historic Preservation Division of the Department is responsible for the administration of the City's historic preservation ordinance, which provides certain kinds of legal protection for buildings, districts, and sites that have been declared historic by City Council. The City of Columbia has over 180 individual landmarks.
The Division is also response for developing awareness of Columbia's rich historical beginnings, which started in 1786 when Columbia became the first planned capital in the new nation. Additionally, the Division raises awareness of how historic materials can be preserved through workshops and educational events.
The Historic Preservation Division is in charge of approving Certificates of Design Approval (CDAs) for alterations to historic buildings and sites. The design review process for Columbia's historic districts and design districts is administered by the Design/Development Review Commission (D/DRC) and the design review staff. All projects come directly to staff for consultation first. Staff may then direct the applicant as to whether the project can be approved at the staff level, or must be channeled through the Commission according to City Ordinance.
If you have questions, please contact the staff representative for your district.
If you would like to sign up to receive the preservation newsletter, please email [email protected]. Past newsletters are available below.
- Learning the Lingo: Common Architecture Terms (February 2020)
- Maintaining Historic Masonry (December 2019)
- Masonry 101: A Beginner's Guide (October 2019)
- Community Spotlight (December 2018)
- District Spotlight - Wales Garden (July 2018)
- House History (March 2018)
- Energy Efficiency (December 2017)
- Bailey Bill (August 2017)