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Published on October 3rd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


What is next for the Mann-Simons Site?

Historic Columbia Opens Listening and Discussion Sessions to the Public to Determine the Future of the Mann-Simons Site

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Beginning in October, Historic Columbia will be holding a series of listening and discussion sessions for the public to help determine the most effective future use of the Mann-Simons Site. The historic landmark was closed this summer to begin renovation and reinterpretation. Historic Columbia wants public involvement in what happens next and the best way to share our stories with each other and the broader community.

Located on the northeast corner of Richland and Marion streets within the heart of downtown, this property was home, work place, spiritual center and a source of pride for members of the same African American family from 1843 through 1970.

Seven years’ worth of archaeological research prompted further efforts in heightening community engagement at the Mann-Simons Site. Most recently, in 2012, an outdoor museum was created consisting of permanent wayside signage and steel ghost structures representing family holdings demolished during Urban Renewal. This highly accessible outside museum desperately demands an equally well conceived and produced counterpart within what was once called the Mann-Simons Cottage, which currently suffers from a disjointed presentation that features no technology, antiquated interpretive panels and second-hand exhibit cases in addition to a period setting with few artifacts germane to the family.

Have your say in how Historic Columbia can most effectively utilize this important historic site. A schedule of upcoming sessions is below:

Our Places, Our Stories:  What is next for the Mann-Simons Site?

Listening and discussion sessions, free and open to the public, will be held at the Mann-Simons Site (1403 Richland Street) the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, October 24, 10-11:30am
  • Thursday, November 5, 6-7:30pm

Space is limited to 10 people per session, so please make your reservation today.  Contact Heather @ 803.252.1770 ext 23 or register at

Have ideas to share, but are not able to attend scheduled sessions or if you have a group in mind such as a board you work with, church committee, neighborhood association, etc. that you think would be interested in being part of the conversation? Contact Robin Waites at 803.252.7742 ext 14 or to schedule a session with your group.

For more information on Historic Columbia and the Mann-Simons Site, visit

About Historic Columbia:

In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Visit or find us on TwitterFacebookInstagram or YouTube for more details.





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