From ox carts to streetcars, to modern day modes of transportation, this bustling area has never lost its charm and appeal. Throughout its evolution, this village neighborhood has remained focused on charm and flavor, consistently striving to provide diversity, culture and class that only a community that cares about its visitors can provide.
Now the heart of Five Points buzzes daily with foot traffic as business professionals enjoy an open air lunch, artists paint scenes and sell their wares in unique galleries, young and old shop for the perfect outfit or special gift. All the while traffic continues to carry residents in and out of the city village to the University of South Carolina, downtown business district and to homes in the six surrounding neighborhoods.
Where Five Points currently exists was once a large wetland area that Rocky Branch creek flowed through. To create the Five Points district, the City of Columbia diverted the stream’s flow underground in 1915. Because Five Points has been a shopping and commercial district for 100 years now, many locally owned businesses are proudly serving their third generation of loyal customers.
The Five Points Association
To Serve and Promote!
The Five Points Association is a non-profit organization whose principle task is ensuring that Five Points stays an integral and important part of the city of Columbia. The Association has accomplished and endured many major infrastructure, development and beautification projects over the years. Some of these projects include: the construction of two signature fountains, a monumental street-scaping project executed by the City of Columbia, a village-wide beautification project and the creation of a master plan, design guidelines and a new zoning overlay. In keeping with beautification, each year the organization retains an outside contractor to keep Five Points a beautiful and clean landmark within the city.
Not only is the Five Points Association concerned with the aesthetics of Five Points, but also the merchants, the patrons, and the residents. On average, the Five Points Association boasts more than 100 members each year. Merchants in the area stay involved in the annual events and charity functions as well as contribute to an overall sense of unification and comeradery.
The Five Points Association hosts annual events that continue to grow with each year and entertain thousands of people within the city of Columbia as well as the state of South Carolina. From over 30 years of St. Pat’s in Five Points to the Five After Five concerts, the calendar year is full of great opportunities for patrons to enjoy Columbia’s favorite village!
Five Points employs a full-time Clean & Safe team, who serve as neighborhood ambassadors, keeping Five Points clean from trash and debris 7-days a week. They also help address aggressive panhandling issues and ensure patron safety. The Clean & Safe team's security officers work closely with the Columbia Police Department to ensure that Five Points remains safe day and night. If you see one of our Clean & Safe members, say hello!
Beautiful Village Landmarks
HARDEN STREET FOUNTAIN
Built by the Five Points Association in 1997, this important landmark provides a beautiful and iconic resting place for Five Points' locals and visitors. The fountain has become synonymous with Five Points and is often used to represent the area in photographs and images. Local politicians have been known to use the fountain for their promotional pieces. The fountain also provides a great background for media promotions.
SALUDA AVENUE FOUNTAIN
Tens years after the iconic Harden Street fountain was built, the Five Points Association built the Saluda Avenue fountain with proceeds from the annual St. Pat's in Five Points festival. The construction of these fountains supports the Five Points Association's mission of creating and supporting a beautiful, inviting public space for all visitors.
FIVE POINTS CENTENNIAL PLAZA
The completion of the Centennial Plaza culminates efforts of Five Points’ Centennial Year in 2015, and will perpetuate the rich history of the village neighborhood as the third water feature to be built in its footprint. The Centennial Plaza will include a 6’ rotating granite kugel, the largest in the state of South Carolina. The kugel rotates by floating over water in a spherical pocket, and can be safely interacted with.
Some of Columbia's Most Unique Public Art
TRIBUTE TO COL. JACK VAN LOAN
Included in the newly constructed Five Points Centennial Plaza is a bronze statue of Col. Jack Van Loan, US Air Force Retired. Col. Van Loan was a pilot during the conflict in Vietnam, and a POW for nearly six years in North Vietnam. Since his return to Columbia, S.C. in the 1980’s, he has been a valuable and cherished member of the Five Points community.
In October 2017, the Five Points Association, Drip Coffee, Pecknel Music Co., and One Columbia finished the newest piece of public art in Five Points -- the Postcard Mural. Located on the wall of Pecknel Music, the mural overlooks the original fountain plaza and the new public parking lot, and was a part of an effort to do justice to the prominent area overlooking the original Five Points fountain, in the heart of Five Points.
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH MONUMENT
Built in 2010 by the Five Points Association, Time Warner Cable, and the City of Columbia, this contemporary art piece represents the impact that Hootie & the Blowfish has had on the Five Points neighborhood as well as the City of Columbia. The band's humble start in the bars and nighclubs of Five Points was honored in October of 2010 with the unveiling of the monument following an honorary street renaming.
LOGAN THE LEPRECHAUN
Five Points is well known for it's annual St. Patrick's Day celebration, as it brings 40,000 local friends and travelers from far and wide to revel in the streets of the village neighborhood and celebrate all things green and Gaelic. In 2007, as part of an Art for Public Spaces grant from the Columbia Development Corporation, six bronze leprechauns or "Logans" (the festival's mascot), were hidden all around Five Points to continue to bring good luck and prosperity.
This mural came about as a reaction to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Ralph Waldrop, a local artist with strong ties to the Five Points community came up with the idea to paint an American flag on the side of Yesterday's Restaruant and Tavern, gathered a group of Vietnam Vets to the painting.
GROUP THERAPY'S BRONZE DOORSTEP
For over 30 years, Group Therapy has been a local staple of Five Points' nightlife scene. Anyone who has passed through the Greene Street entrance has seen the bronze doorstep wieh the bar's name oozing out onto the sidewalk. Danny Berry and Beth Lind, part of a group of artists in Columbia who referred to themselves as "the collective," signed the bronze piece upon it's completion.
FIVE POINTS THEATER MARQUEE
When it opened on Harden Street in 1939, the Five Points Theatre was modern and very popular. Much smaller than the large movie houses on Columbia's Main Street, the theater was to serve only the people in the well-to-do neighborhoods nearby. A woman named "Miss Ruth" would put on a show for 30 minutes prior to the movie starting - she would tell stories and direct skits with the help of a small cast. Admission was only 9 cents. For a period in the 1950's, the teater screened foreign films in a series called The Columbia Finer Films Committee. The theater remained open until the 1960's, but it's small size soon made it unappealing compared with larger theaters. In 2000, the building's signature neon marquee was restored.
THE MAN IN THE TUB
While living in Dallas, Texas, two of the owners of Yesterday's Restaurant and Tavern worked together at the Dallas Hilton Inn and regularly served Bob Hope his preferred drink, the "Blue Nun" with a tub full of ice to accompany the drink. In addition, there was a bar and restaurant in Dallas called the Montana Mining Company that used a miner in a sitz bath as the greeter when you entered the building. One night many years ago, the owners combined these stories into what would become Yesterday's infamous logo that would spawn the Man in the Tub. Out of fear of catching too much grief from the public, they moved the Man up on top of the building, and he has been there ever since!
This mural is located on an exterior wall of Harper's Restaurant in Five Points. It encompasses the entire wall and illustrates Five Points circa 1948, from a vantage point halfway up the Devine Street hill. This prominent Blue Sky mural was dedicated to a family member of his, an inventor and photographer who taught Sky how to draw at the age of six.
NATURAL VIBRATIONS MURAL
Natural Vibrations, a.k.a. "Natty Vibes" has been a staple in Five Points for 20 years. You can't miss this storefront, complete with a wooden A-frame out front and an impressive mural around the corner that extends from the ground into the sky. If you look at it hard enough, you'll think you're in the mountains.
ART AT EL BURRITO
Another coveted public art piece by Ernest Lee, The Chicken Man. Find it on the blue wall next to El Burrito.
VILLAGE IDIOT MURAL
This is the second mural done by local artist McClellan Douglas. His first piece was completed around the year 2008. The second, stemming from his longing to revamp the original, was completed in 2015 in celebration of Village Idiot Pizza's 25th anniversary.
It's Been A Busy 2016-2017
Clean & Safe Efforts:
Continued the execution of an efficient Clean & Safe Program to keep Five Points clean from trash and debris 7-days a week, and to help address aggressive panhandling issues and patron safety
Continued efforts to create a safer environment in Five Points by maintaining our neighborhood-wide camera system
Implemented a 7-day coverage for both cleaning and security
Outfitted the Clean & Safe team with new uniforms
Partnered with USC and the City of Columbia to execute the continuation of the Night Transportation Corridor to Five Points
New & Annual Events:
(January) - 35th Annual St. Pat’s in Five Points Line-Up Announcement Party
(March) - The Fountain Division of W.P. Law’s Official Kick-Off to St. Pat’s in Five Points
(March) - 35th Annual St. Pat’s in Five Points and donated $47,750 to local charities and non-profits
(April – August) - 19th season of Five After Five
(August) - Summer Sidewalk Sale
(September) - 9th Annual Barstool Classic
(October) - JerryFest
(October) - Trick-Or-Treating in Five Points + Day of the Dead Festival
(October) - 30th Annual Chili Cook-Off
(November) - Small Business Saturday
(December) - A Starry Night
Marketing & Promotions:
Distributed additional copies of Five Points Visitors Guides statewide
Created and distributed Annual Calendar of Events posters
Continued to educate merchants on social media platforms and apps in an effort to further enhance social media presence
Continued to promote neighborhood-wide hashtags
Installed additional branded trash can wraps
Ran a new neighborhood-wide promotion – the St. Pat’s window decorating contest
Teamed up with local young professionals group (Columbia Opporutnity Resource – COR) as a way to promote Five Points events to their membership and drive their networking events into Five Points businesses
Facilitated the creation of a list of Five Points neighborhood-wide discounts for business owners, managers, and employees to use when patronizing their fellow merchants
Completed the new “Selfie Spot” promotion, installing ground stickers in seven prominent locations throughout the neighborhood that encourage patrons to stop and take photos
Began a partnership with COLAtoday
Beautification & Green Efforts:
Continued beautification efforts with the installation of custom LED/twinkle lights in the trees in the median of the 700 block of Harden Street
Started the Centennial mural on the wall of Pecknel in partnership with One Columbia and Drip
Facilitated the re-paving & re-striping of the City of Columbia parking lot on Devine Street
Started the installation of aesthetically pleasing and compliant options for ADA mats and crosswalks
Completed phases I and II of the Blossom Street train trestle beautification project
Yearlong planning of Centennial Plaza
Get Involved, Share Your Voice
The benefits of joining the Five Points Association far outweigh the actual cost. Some of these benefits include:
Additional marketing support for your businesses (to include social media, e-blasts, and media relations)
Distinguished and detailed listing on the Five Points Association website, which includes a photo and all up-to-date business information
Invitation to special annual social events
Opportunity to attend and participate in Five Points Association quarterly membership meetings
Opportunity to serve on any Five Points Association committee (Beauti-5, Clean & Safe, and Membership)
Opportunity to sponsor or participate in any Five Points Association events (St. Pat’s, Five After Five, JerryFest, Summer Sidewalk Sale, Bar Stool Classic, Trick-Or-Treat, Chili Cook-Off, Small Business Saturday, A Starry Night, and more)
Opportunity to vote in the Board of Directors annual election, or run for the Five Points Association Board of Directors
Receive e-mail bulletins about neighborhood news, upcoming activities, and important updates
The Association often serves as a liaison with the City of Columbia and can be helpful in connecting businesses with the appropriate City staff (i.e. grease traps, enforcement, parking)
Remember – the sole purpose of the Five Points Association is to create and maintain a better neighborhood for all of your businesses. We work tirelessly to improve the quality of life in our village and we welcome any and all questions, comments, concerns, etc. Please take this opportunity to get involved – there is no better way to share your voice than from within.
Please note: Membership can be paid by cash or check, but if you opt to pay online, you will be charged a processing fee by PayPal. The fee goes entirely to PayPal and has been added in to both tiers.
On Saturday, November 25, 2017, the Five Points Association will be taking part in Small Business Saturday, the nationwide event celebrating small business. In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help businesses with their most pressing need – getting more customers. The single day has grown into a powerful movement and Five Points will be p…
On Friday, December 1st, from 4pm – 8pm, Five Points will celebrate the season at the annual holiday event, A Starry Night. Patrons can stroll through all of their favorite Five Points stores to enjoy sales and specials during a night full of holiday cheer. From home goods, jewelry, and clothing to baked goods and wine, the Five Points merchants have everything patrons c…
This Saturday, October 21, 2017, the Five Points Association (FPA) welcomed thousands of people into Columbia's original village neighborhood for the 30th Annual Chili Cook-Off in Five Points. Patrons were given have the chance to watch teams battle it out to see who has the best chili in Columbia. The winning teams received custom, locally made trophies by Stuyck &…